Lufkin Wildfire Academy prepares volunteers for upcoming season - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Lufkin Wildfire Academy prepares volunteers for upcoming season


 An alarming statistic, prompted over 200people from various walks of life to participate in the 15th Annual FireAcademy in Lufkin.

"In Texas 80 percent of wildfireshappen within two miles of a community and volunteer firefighters are the firstline of defense. With all of these wildfires happening so close to communitiesthe odds are they are going to be on one of those wildfires, so its key that theylearn this basic information," said Holly Huffman, PIO, Lufkin FireAcademy.

 Last season Texas suffered its driest yearsince 1895 and wildfires throughout the state burned nearly four million acres.

 Public Information Officer Holly Huffman said thecommunity is better prepared each time someone is trained to fight wildfires.

"We pulled in so many resourcesfrom across the county and we could hardly bring in enough people so its alwayskey to have more people experienced and ready to go," said Huffman.

 After four days in classroom, learning aboutweather, fire behavior and safety, academy students put what they've learned tothe test, cutting a fire line around a simulated fire zone area.

"How to utilize the tools that wehave, also out spacing on the line, safety zones all of the things that wewould need if we were in an actual incident," said Jimmy Mullis, AssistantChief Central Branch, Texas Forest Service.      

Student Jimmy Mullis said the firetraining is essential because their training goes beyond the help of a machine.

"A lot of area that equipmentcan't in to, there are areas that you can't get air or water into so you needthese hand crews," said Mullis.

 With every training volunteers are betterequipped to protect the community and themselves.

"In this business training is reallyessential but if doesn't just teach you how to do your job it can help saveyour life," said Huffman.

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