CHEWELAH, Wash. - Wildfire season is underway but what does it take to brave the front lines and fight those fires?
Stepping up to fight wildfires is a bold move.
"You pretty much dedicated your summer if you decide to do this," said Veronica Naccarato, wildfire fighter.
Not to mention the danger. Veronica Naccarato has been fighting fires for five seasons.
Friday she helped train more than 30 new firefighters.
"I started what's called a practice fire, just kind of gets them prepared for going out in a real life fire," said Naccarato.
The live burn exercise is the last part to a week long intensive training program.
Veteran firefighters say it is the most important test of the week.
"Live fire exercises at these guard schools are extremely important because once they leave here training is over and as soon as tomorrow they could be on an actual wildfire," said Josh Tellessen, wildfire fighter.
The trainees are from agencies throughout the area. Their ages range from 18 to 60, some are college students and others are just passionate about the environment, but now they all have the same goal.
"Most of the agencies in the state fight fire together since we are all protecting the same resources. Life, limb and property are the highest priority. Safety is number one," said Troy Kinghorn, wildfire fighter.
After the live fire exercise their basic training is over, however they will take refresher courses and do daily physical training during wildfire season.
"It's hard. It definitely puts a strain on you mentally and physically," said Naccarato "But it's super rewarding saving property and houses and animals and structures ... it's awesome."
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