It’s is a typical day at the office for Captain Grant Peters with Logan-Rogersville Fire Protection District. Prepping equipment for the next call. He and Conner Cooper, a firefighter with Battlefield Fire Protection District are winding down after 3 weeks of fighting wildfires similar to ones in California. ” It’s a different dynamic out there than it is back here with the structural firefighting,” says Cooper. He was sent to fight fires in Montana and Wyoming. ” The humidity is a big deal,” says Cooper. ” Low humidity means very high fire danger so these are all look outs that you got to be looking for. You got to be paying attention to your weather and your wind.”
Grant was sent to fight back the flames 3 hours outside of Yellowstone National Park. The terrain…obviously much different than Southwest Missouri. ” The time that it takes to get to the job, instead of just hopping off the truck walking a couple hundred feet and being at the fire out there you could be a couple miles from the fire or right on top of it,” says Peters.
The way you fight a wildfire takes a different approach too. Peters says ” Out there we’re taking shovels and picks and digging trenches and lines and cutting trees down. You don’t even have water. You cant get a brush truck or an engine out there to it to spray it out. You’re several miles away from those things,” says Peters.
Both men had to get special training to fight the massive fires. ” It’s very dangerous setting that you’re in to begin with,” says Cooper. ” All those snags that could fall at anytime and just the heavy fuel load that you’re working in.”
A dangerous mission both men expect to come around again. ” We’ll never turn down and assignment. We’ll be there,” says Cooper.