June 9, 2008
For the past ten years, firefighters from three counties, as well as state and federal agencies, have started the summer wildland fire season with an integrated fire training exercise. On Saturday, June 14, about 150 firefighters from Teton, Sublette and Lincoln counties, Bridger-Teton National Forest, Grand Teton National Park, the National Elk Refuge, the Bureau of Land Management, and the Wyoming State Forestry Division will gather at Hoback Ranches near Bondurant for the annual All Fire Day. Hoback Ranches homeowners are also participating this year, along with the Sublette County Sheriff’s Department, search and rescue, emergency management, animal control, emergency medical services, and the local American Red Cross chapter.
“All Fire Day 2008 is a collaborative approach to wildland fire training from all county, state and federal partners to improve interagency coordination and emergency preparedness,” said All Fire Day Operations Section Chief Steve Markason. “By conducting a fire operations scenario within a wildland-urban interface setting, the neighborhood has the opportunity to practice their wildfire response and evacuation plan in a realistic situation.”
All Fire Day will focus on a wildfire scenario that involves a Wyoming incident management team and line officers from the southern and western portions of the state, as well as firefighters who will work through a variety of drills, structure assessments and live fire exercises. Homeowners at Hoback Ranches will have the opportunity to participate in a mock evacuation and learn the steps to take in protecting their homes from wildfire. The exercises will take place, weather permitting.
“We made a conscious effort this year to involve homeowners and make sure they had all the necessary information to be prepared in the event of a wildfire,” said Deputy Operations Chief Willy Watsabaugh. “We know Hoback Ranches is in a high risk area for wildland fires. With the homeowners engaged in the exercise, they will have the opportunity to better understand firefighters’ perspectives when it comes to protecting homes in the wildland-urban interface.”
All Fire Day training was established in 1998 to provide opportunities for interagency fire personnel to complete field exercises that test skills. The exercises also promote safety and efficiency in wildland firefighting, while building relationships and better communication through increased agency coordination.
Media representatives are welcome to attend. Please contact Traci Weaver at 307-739-3692 or 307-690-1128 for more information.