Firefighting recruits hone wildfire skills

RAPID CITY S.D. (KEVN) - Here in the Black Hills, we are prone to wildfires, making firefighter training all the more important. The newest Rapid City recruits gained real world experience in drills Tuesday.

Flags, representing flames, were set up by instructors showing where the borders of the fire are located. The drill was along amphitheater trail on Skyline Hill. The recruits have to trek up the hill with gear and hoses to try and put the "fire" out.

These drills are intended to teach crews how to barricade the fires edges by making a Y shape to contain the flames. This was a hands-on way, to show what their daily lives could soon look like.

"Basically getting them out and getting real experience doing it without the flames on the ground. They learn how to properly deploy the host packs how to big a line properly," says Dustin Larsen, a fire academy instructor.

A trainee says he is glad to be doing these drills, preparing for the real deal down the road.

"When we see it in the real world, it's already ingrained into our minds. We have to stretch that line, and we have to put this fire out," says Brandon Lliteras, a fire academy recruit.

This is week 9 of the 11-week academy. Up next is more hands on practical testing, a written exam and then the final live fire exercise.