DNR preparing for wildfire season

DNR preparing for wildfire season

29-year-old Cory Chestnut is part of the Washington Department of Natural Resources firefighting team and will take on his first fire season this summer.

He said after this week’s training event he’s ready to apply everything he’s learned out in the field.

“It’s been great, I love it. It’s exciting to be out there it’s an adrenaline rush we learn a lot of safety and how to look out for each other,” said DNR firefighter Cory Chestnut.

Several other firefighters joining chestnut.

They are taking the techniques they learned in a classroom and applying them hands-on.

From knowing the type of hoses used on a fire to how the pump operates

Chestnut said every detail matters.

“To get prepared for the experiences in live fire,” said Chestnut.

DNR’s wildfire operations manager said they are expecting an average season but preparing for worst case scenarios.

“We’re training and staffing and prepared to respond anything Mother Nature throws at us,” said DNR’s operations manager Aaron Schmidt.

Adding that fires may be delayed in high lands due to the amount of snow fall last winter.

But that low land fires will soon begin.

“In the Valleys and in the places arguably where there is more people out and about, snowpack doesn’t really have an effect on that,” said Schmidt.

But no matter what Mother Nature brings, Chestnut ready to…

“Use and implement the knowledge and tools that are used on the fire line,” said Cory Chestnut.

One fire at a time.

The Washington Department of Natural Resources said this year it will spend nearly $2-million to train.

Suppression costs vary for each agency.

In 2016, DNR spent $40-million fighting fires statewide.