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Fighting fires from the air, CAL FIRE crews prepare for busy wildfire season

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FORTUNA- The month of May is the official start of Wildfire Season, and CAL FIRE officials expect to be busy.
 
The Kneeland Helitack crew was at the Rohnerville Air Attack Base Friday, wrapping up their weeklong Basic Helitack Firefighter Operations and Safety Training. The crew is made up of twenty people. Fire officials tell us the seasonal crew was brought in about three weeks earlier than normal in anticipation of the severe fire season.
 
Fire captain Isaac Lake said the difference between fighting fire in the air- as oppose to ground attack- is the accessibility to the blaze.
 
"With the helicopter we can reach areas of the fie that ground base vehicles cant. And so that is why we train on these tactics. They let us get into those areas that aren't accessible. And get in front of the fire and try and check its progress. The ground base unit can come in and completely envelop the fire,” said Fire Captain Lake.