USA/United Kingdom– An Isle of Wight firefighter who is part of an exchange trip to Oregon in the USA to learn about tackling wildfire, now finds himself on the front line fighting a huge bush fire.
Alan Jones, based at Newport fire station, is with four colleagues from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service on the trip, which has so far seen them train on the techniques used to tackle large scaled wildfires.
Battling a massive blaze
Having completed the training, Alan and his colleagues have been assigned to join 660 firefighters who are battling a massive blaze at Canyon Creek which has already seen over 73,000 acres burnt and several properties destroyed.
It is expected he will be deployed at the fire until the end of the week.
Chief fire officer Dave Curry said:
The exchange trip is providing valuable training to our firefighters who will pass on their new skills and techniques to colleagues on their return.
By fighting this real fire on a massive scale will give Alan and his team a new level of experience that can only benefit the Island.
Firefighters to come from Oregon
Alan and the firefighters from Hampshire are due to return to the UK by September. Firefighters from Oregon will also be visiting as part of the exchange trip, with a date due to be set soon.