Destry Horton Wild Land School holds 7th annual training for Okl - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Destry Horton Wild Land School holds 7th annual training for Oklahoma firefighters

[Source KSWO] [Source KSWO]

LAWTON, OK (KSWO)- Nearly one hundred fifty firefighters from across Oklahoma gathered at Fort Sill for the 7th annual Destry Horton Wild Land School to learn the latest in fighting wild land firefighting.

The training program was created in 2006, in honor of Destry Horton a Chickasha firefighter who died from injuries fighting a large fire in Duncan.

Fire Service Training Director Erick Reynolds says the instruction the firefighters receive is critical to Oklahoma.

"As you, all know there are huge wildfires that are happening,” said Reynolds. “They are large enough in the state of Oklahoma now that they are getting named. So, the danger with the fuel load we have is critical and it's going to burn soon if we don't get some rain. So, we are trying to get as much top quality training to these folks as we can because we want them to be safe and go home to their families."

Mark Huff was just one of those firefighters bracing the element.

He's been a firefighter for 2 years and said he joined Destry Horton Wildland Firefighting School for one reason, better training.

"We are a part of Task Force One for Oklahoma County,” said Huff. “So, anytime we get called out this is just great training for stuff we don't deal with every day."

Along with skill training in the classroom firefighters got hands on experience with exercises such as backfire training, a technique of using fire to fight the fire.

Huff said this training was most important to him.

"It's another tool in the toolbox that I never learned before,” said Huff. “It's something that helps you get ahead in the fire. It absolutely helps out."

Fort Sill Fire Chief Clint Langford said learning this material is important in facing the real, emergency fires.

"Sometimes the real-world experience mother nature gives us is not a safe environment,” said Langford. “A lot of extreme fire behavior days that is real erratic. This opportunity gets us close to the fires and enables students to practice in a way that they can learn from those skills that don't bring risk to their lives."

Reynolds said if the weather conditions continue in Oklahoma wildfires will to be a danger to the state...this training helps to prepare those firefighters to fight it.

"It's critically important to get this training to as many folks as we can across the state so that they are ready when the call comes,” said Reynolds. “Because they are going to go whether they are trained or not."

Copyright 2017 KSWO. All rights reserved.

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