South Metro fire crews participate in high wind training

LITTLETON, Colo. – We’ve seen the effects of wind and flames in any number of wildfires along Colorado’s Front Range.

In most cases, wind-fanned flames can be a major problem for wildland fire crews. But now, they are learning that flames and wind can also be a major problem when crews battle fires in single-story buildings, as well as high rises.

“We are just trying to give firefighters more tools to work with when they arrive on scene,” said Chief Mike West of the South Metro Fire District. “We’ve all heard of ‘back-drafts’ and events caused by breaking open a door or window, which can cause the fire to blow-up and catch crews off-guard.”

Crews from several departments took part in training Tuesday and several other agencies were on-hand to help plan drills for their units as well.

“We know with exercises such as this one we can help save lives,” said Chief Mike Piper of Arvada. “Our training will take place in a few weeks.”

The science of firefighting continues to evolve. But when winds can go from five miles per hour to 60 or 70 in seconds, only practice and drills will help keep crews safe.