The early heat wave can have sweltering locals, but it’s also a good way for firefighters to prepare for the long hot summer ahead.
The Cal Fire Santa Clara unit started their day with a four mile hike up and down hills over 90 degrees at full speed.
With predictions of a severe wildfire season approaching, they said it’s all about acclimatization.
“I think this is the perfect opportunity for us to practice and get used to the terrain, the slope and what to expect in these summer fire conditions,” said firefighter Jacob Williams. .
They were carrying almost 60 pounds of weight on them, all to prepare them for what could happen.
“These summers are just not typical anymore,” said Carlos Alcantar of Santa Clara Cal Fire.
Acclimatization is crucial because the state lacks ground teams. Those who cut the critical lines of fire. The shortage is caused by the early release of so many volunteer inmates from state prisons.
As of Wednesday, many of the attendees are from traditional support groups, such as the California Conservation Corps, which are now trying to be promoted to core members of the Type 1 ground crew.
“We have few teams available,” Alcantar said. “These guys are going to be sent. And they will work. They work 24 hour shifts. It is therefore imperative that they get used to it.
With this heat, some will have more trouble than others.
“We all acclimatize a little differently. Some people are used to the heat and others, especially coming from the bay area and the coast where it is very cold, and therefore their hot weather there is around 70 degrees, ”Fernando said. Herrera from Monterey Cal Fire. “So it’s going to be a big jump. “
Cal Fire points out that the drilling doesn’t stop after this week and with the extreme heat says they will have the chance to practice and apply what they practice all summer long.