Students learn process of fighting fire with fire

Students learning how to fight fire with fire

CAMP ROBINSON, Ark.(KTHV)- Smoke and flames filled Camp Robinson on Wednesday. All in an effort to fight potential wildfires and show the public why this is so important.

Bulldozers and drip torches are some of the school supplies needed for this outdoor classroom.

"Prescribed fire can be used for forest and grassy areas to achieve a variety of management goals," said Adriane Barnes with the Arkansas Forestry Commission.

Barnes said the 41 students in attendance are taught how to create a burn plan and the positive impact prescribed fire can have on the land.

"A prescribed fire is going to rid a forested area of more flammable debris," she said. "So, if a wildfire ever threatened this area it wouldn't likely burn as intensely because the flammable debris has already been burned."

An air-gun called a Pyroshot injects fire where crews can’t reach.  Barnes said it shoots antifreeze out into the field.

"A prescribed fire is a slow moving fire with low to the ground flames.  Larger flames and more intense fires are wildfires and they do damage to forest," said Barnes.

In order to burn, the weather plays a big factor into the process. Barnes said every 30 minutes the wind speed and humidity are checked to gauge the situation.

"The wind needs to be below 10 mph," Barnes explained. "We need to see humidity levels between 30 to 40 percent. Those factors have to be considered because if we have lower humidity than 30 to 40 percent it will not be a prescribed fire."  

In total, students will be burning just over 100 acres at Camp Robinson. Classes will continue until Thursday.


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