Fire Shelters a Last Resort in a Bad Situation

By  | 

RENO, Nev--Firefighters in our area use the same protective gear and practices as those in Arizona. Officials say they take every precaution necessary, but the same thing could happen here.

When crews head out on fire, they do everything they can to prevent loss of life. That includes special gear and a series of precautions.

They wear fire resistant clothing from head to toe. It wont necessarily protect them from flames, but it also won't catch on fire easily.

Next up they have a fire shelter which is only used in extreme emergencies, for instance when a firefighter is trapped and has no way out.

Shelters are designed to reflect heat away while a firefighter huddles inside, but they don't always do the trick. The 19 firefighters in Arizona died inside of these shelters.

"If you're in a situation where you have to deploy a fire shelter, it is not a very good situation. they have been shown to save lives. however it just depends on the situation, the fire and the conditions that you are up against when that time comes," said Amy Ray, Fire Marshal for Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District.

Since the conditions can be so dangerous, crews take precautions. Every firefighter knows the wind and weather conditions before they ever hit the fire line. They also have safety zones and escape routes set up so fire does not over take them.

But sadly, situations like the one in Arizona do happen. In that case, winds shifted quickly and the 19 firefighters who died did not have time to react.