GALLIPOLIS, OH-Firefighters from ten local fire departments attended wildland fire suppression training on September 11, 2005 at the Gallia Academy High School and September 24, 2005 at the Gallipolis Sr. Citizen Center. Seventeen volunteer firefighters from Greenfield Township, Vinton Township, Harrison Township, District 2 (Guyan Twp.) and Gallipolis departments in Gallia County, Washington Township in Scioto County, Pomeroy in Meigs County, and Hamilton Township, Bloomfield Township, and Coalton in Jackson County participated. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Forestry provided the training.
“Each year an average of 800 wildfires burn 4,000 to 6,000 acres of forest and grassland within Ohio’s forest fire protection district,” said John Dorka, chief of the Division of Forestry. “These wildfires are attributed primarily to the careless burning of debris, and place people and their homes at significant risk.” The ODNR Division of Forestry advises that under the Ohio Revised Code, outdoor burning is prohibited October 1 to November 30 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Ohio EPA also has burning regulations, which residents should check.
The six-hour class included wildland fire behavior, fuels, weather, sizing up, suppression methods, incident command, and safety.
The Division of Forestry currently has cooperative wildfire suppression agreements with 325 fire departments located within the division’s fire protection area, including eastern and southeastern Ohio, and the Maumee State Forest area of northwestern Ohio. Cooperating fire departments are the front line in community wildfire awareness, prevention, and suppression.
Wildfire prevention and education efforts are supported by sales of Smokey Bear license plates which can be purchased through local deputy registrar offices, on the Internet at OPLATES.COM, or by calling toll free 1-888-PLATES3 (752-8373).