Central Washington Interagency Fire Training Academy

GLEED, WA - Hundreds of firefighters are training in preparation for this years fire season.

"So today is the second day of the Central Washington Interagency Fire Training Academy here in Gleed," said Miles Pollack, Assistant Fire Unit Manager, Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

The annual week long training brings in 500 firefighters from multiple agencies.

"This training really incorporates every agency out there. I mean we've got BIA, National Parks, we've got Fish and Wildlife, we've got Forest Service. We've got, you know volunteer departments out here, and we have the Department of Natural Resources, and really we'll be seeing these people on fires everywhere we go," said Ryan Kindler, Firefighter Type 2, DNR.

New and returning firefighters all come to the academy, "It gives us ways of doing everything safely. I mean our jobs are already as dangerous as it can get," said Kindler.

The crew had some visitors from Naches Valley Elementary School.

Students went through four different courses learning what firefighters do and one thing is clear, "Their job is yeah, it's kind've hard because they have to do a lot of different things and they have to remember all kinds of different stuff from training," said Breanna Jones, 5th grader at Naches Valley Elementary.

Pollack says it's important to let students learn about what firefighters do, "To get the message out for fire prevention and fire awareness of what to do in case there's a wildfire near the place that you live and that's really what we're going for with the elementary school students."

This training usually happens just before fire season, but "Fire season is basically already here. I mean for a lot of the state and a lot of the country really," said Kindler.

Kindler also says the amount of snow the area received will make this fire season challenging, "The snow pack that you are talking about is actually going to make this fire season worst. We had a lot of potential last year that didn't get burned."

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