PAOLA — Paola firefighters learned strategies for combating fast-moving wildfires during a recent training session led by a member of the Kansas Forest Service.

The training was conducted during a two-day period in late November with controlled burns near 295th Street and Bethel Church Road west of Paola.

“I’ve been here for over 30 years, and this is the first live fire wildland training we have ever done,” Paola Fire Chief Andy Martin said.

Bryce Haverkamp of the Kansas Forest Service instructed Paola firefighters how to use drip torches for backfiring, which uses the fuel that an advancing fire would need to progress, Martin said.

The Paola firefighters also got to wear new wildland protective gear recently purchased by Miami County Fire District No. 1.

Senior Managing Editor Brian McCauley can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or brian.mccauley@miconews.com.

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