South Carolina Forestry Commission
News Release

May 14, 2007

Water Handling Exercise at Harbison State Forest

(Columbia, SC) -- While the emerging wildfire season out West grabs national headlines and our on-going fires in the Southeast continue to be fought, new SC Forestry Commission firefighters will be learning the grueling techniques of water handling on a fireline.

The specialized training takes place along the banks of the Broad River at Harbison State Forest in Columbia. Equipment and crews will be on hand to train forestry firefighters in techniques of pumping, hose control, and fire extinguishing. River water will be sucked up from the Broad and pumped onto a designated “fire” site. It’s a unique experience for those taking part and spectacular sight for those watching from the sidelines.

Why water? While most wildfires are fought with plowed “fire breaks,” mountainous areas pose a special challenge. The terrain is too steep for heavy equipment. Often water becomes the weapon of choice. Also, with the trend toward urban interface, forestlands are increasingly coming face to face with human development. Wildland firefighters must adapt to these new challenges in order to protect not only the forested areas, but also the lives and property that occupy them.

WHO: South Carolina Forestry Commission

WHAT: Water handling exercises

WHEN: Wednesday afternoon, May 16th

WHERE: Harbison State Forest

WHY: Part of the Commission’s on-going training cycle for wildfire readiness



For more information, contact Scott Hawkins (803) 896-8820


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