South Carolina Forestry Commission
News Release

June 2, 2006


(Columbia, SC) -- Twenty-seven Forestry Commission employees have just completed three days of specialized wildland firefighting training. Staged at Harbison State Forest near Columbia, the training is part of the overall professional development required for agency firefighters.

Participating firefighters faced a regimen of lectures, written examinations, field exercises, and practical tests. According to Forestry Commission Training Director Debbie Price, the courses develop skills used by wildland firefighters nationwide.

One day of training focused on general forest firefighting tactics and techniques, culminating in a strenuous three-hour field exercise. In the exercise, firefighters constructed more than a half-mile of firebreak through steep, rough woodland using only axes, shovels, and other hand tools.

Participants then spent two days learning to use water pumping equipment designed expressly for forest firefighting in remote areas. Practical exercises involving portable pumps, collapsible water reservoirs, forest fire hose and nozzles, and rough terrain vehicles challenged students to solve specific deep woods firefighting problems.

The training, mandatory for all Forestry Commission firefighters, emphasizes environmentally friendly fire suppression techniques. Called “light hand on the land techniques,” these methods allow effective fire suppression while protecting soil and water resources.



For more information, contact: Ken Cabe, 803-896-8820.




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