Colorado firefighters train for upcoming wildland fire season

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JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. -- New recruits tested the skills they have learned in classrooms during a field training day on Saturday to give them a taste of what it's like to fight a wildland fire.

New recruits from Fairmount, Evergreen, Genesee, Golden Gate, Golden, Foothills, Timberline and Jefferson County Road & Bridge participated in the exercises. They dug fire lines, studied weather patterns and planned escape routes.

"[We're] trying to teach them some preliminary stuff before they get on an actual fire line," said Chief Damian DiFeo with the Golden Gate Fire Department.

John Smith decided he wanted fight fires after seeing a wildland fire burn in Boulder, close to his home.

"I always wanted to be prepared rather than just getting buckets of water. I was like, 'What else can I do?' I want to be able to be prepared for something like that," said Smith.

Saturday's cold and wet weather made it more difficult to simulate the conditions the recruits will face when fighting fires. Still, DiFeo said it's critical to get them out of the classroom and put their skills to work in the real world. It's also important to get crews from different agencies together to prepare them for big fires.

"Get them used to working together, because when we do have a big fire, we are all going to be working together," said DiFeo.

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