Top Ways Firefighters Combat Forest Fires

Firefighters are highly trained specialists that learn a variety of methods to contain and extinguish wildfires. Without the help of firefighters, forest fires can spread quickly and lead to massive amounts of damage in residential areas. Here are some methods firefighters use to suppress fires in the wilderness.

Control Line

A control line is a natural or man made barrier used to control the edges of a fire. Natural barriers can be things like rivers or cliffs. Man made barriers happen when firefighters create a scratch line, which means brush and debris are cleared out of an area, or a wet line, which means fire retardants or water have been sprayed over an area. Techniques like this can be learned by taking a course or earning your firefighter certification Texas.

Backburn

A backburn allows firefighters to use fire to fight the fire. Small fires are started downwind of the main fire and near control lines. Firefighters then push the controlled fires to the wildfire line, burning up the debris in the process and preventing the spread of the wildfire.

Hot Spotting

Hot spotting refers to the focused attention of firefighters on the most dangerous parts of the fire. Firefighters must determine the best strategies to prevent the spread of fire from these areas. They may have to put out embers, remove brush and apply fire retardants.

Flanking

Flanking is used for smaller wildfires. Firefighters spray the entire perimeter of the fire to prevent spread.

Aerial Attack

Helitack crews are used for aerial attacks on fires. Helicopters can carry water and chemical fire retardants to drop onto the fire below. This is especially useful when there are natural water sources nearby for the helicopters to obtain water from.

Cold Trailing

Cold trailing is a preventative measure firefighters take to ensure a wildfire is completely extinguished. Crews will go back through the scorched areas to snuff out any remaining embers to prevent the wind from picking up hot coals and starting another fire.

Explosives

Occasionally firefighters need to use explosives to fight fires quickly and efficiently. They can be used to down trees that may assist the fire in jumping over control lines. Explosives can also be used to quickly clear out debris from areas near the spreading fire.

Firefighters have many techniques they can use to suppress wildfires and, with the proper training and experience, they protect the environment and the residential areas near the fire.

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