Boise Bend wildland fire training set for Sept. 23
Jason Starck, Training Battalion Chief, Loveland Fire Rescue Authority
Smoke and flames will be visible in southeast Loveland on Monday, Sept. 23, as firefighters and City Open Lands staff pursue the twin goals of wildland fire training and the eradication of non-native, invasive plants.
Loveland Fire Rescue Authority, in cooperation with the Open Lands and Trails Division of the City’s Parks & Recreation Department, will conduct a live-fire training exercise at the Boise Bend Natural Area on the south bank of the Big Thompson River just west of Boise Avenue.
Beginning at 10 a.m. and concluding at 2:30 p.m., the burn will be the culmination of a four-day wildland fire training program for LFRA’s 2019 Recruit Academy. The fire will be managed in phases to reduce the amount of smoke generated during the burn.
The training takes place on a 3-acre tract of Boise Bend where non-native grasses have spread. Once cleared, Open Lands crews will replant the area with grasses and other plants that are native to the Colorado high plains, restoring the ecosystem to its natural state.
The area will be prepared for the training exercise this weekend as firefighters clear containment lines around the burn area. The natural area will be open to the public during the weekend, with firefighters able to answer questions about their work.
Boise Bend will close to the public on burn day, Sept. 23, reopening on Sept 24.
Trainees who qualify for LFRA employment will join an agency that provides fire coverage for a 190-square-mile area, including interface zones where wildlands and residential areas meet. Monday’s exercise will help them develop skills that will be used in providing fire protection for those areas.