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Multiple Rogue Valley fire agencies conducting fire training in Merlin

MERLIN, Ore. — Multiple fire agencies in the Rogue Valley are prepping for fire season with a variety of wildland exercises.

The groups are using chainsaws and other tools to practice constructing “hand-lines,” which are used to stop fires from spreading by creating a divide in the vegetation.

The next step of the hand-line process is to make a “burn-out,” which is where a line of fire is created and controlled.

This new fire helps to burn up the vegetation on the ground that the real fire won’t be able to use as fuel anymore.

“I’d say the most physically intensive would be the chainsaw and line construction,” said Battalion Chief Brandon Rigaud from Grants Pass Fire Rescue. “It’s one of the most physical things that we do. Is actually moving vegetation away from a fire line. Especially when there’s active fire.”

The agencies are also conducting “hose deployment” exercises.

The practice sessions, which are taking place in Merlin, started on May 28 and will wrap up on May 31.

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NBC5 News reporter Sean Walters earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Emerging Media and Digital Arts from Southern Oregon University. As a result of an accelerated academic program, he graduated in just three years. He was born in Antioch, California, then grew up in Southern Oregon. Sean loves to travel, play guitar and study filmmaking and photography.
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