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Firefighters get live structure fire training at Nipomo property

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Posted at 7:20 PM, Apr 06, 2023

CAL FIRE crews are spending two weeks on live structure fire safety training at a property in Nipomo.

“What we are doing is we are providing realistic live fire conditions so the firefighters can come here and basically show their flavor,” said CAL FIRE Battalion Chief Chad Fleming.

CAL FIRE Capt. Derek Mctiernan says he is thankful for the large training space.

“This type of training is invaluable to us because it’s not often we get an acquired structure and can actually light fire in it,” he said.

This two-week hands-on training is preparing the firefighters for a variety of real-world scenarios.

“We provide a live fire in each home and we dispatch it as we would to an incident,” Mctiernan said.

An opportunity like this allows firefighters to see real fire, smoke and heat in a controlled environment.

There is about a week of intense preparation with the structure setup that goes on prior to the training.

“We strip all the structures down both from the outside as well as the inside down to flesh surfaces. We remove windows, we remove doors and vent pipes, and we create our own windows, we create our own doors to create this environment for realistic training as well as to focus on the safety as well as the participants,” Fleming said.

This training provides firefighters with opportunities to improve their skills and in turn, ultimately benefit the community.

The property includes five buildings that were donated to CAL FIRE by the landowner.

People living along Division Street may notice smoke in the area through next week.