U.S. Forest Service holds training for incoming fire investigators

The U.S. Forest Service held a training exercise on Thursday in the City of Shasta Lake for incoming fire law enforcement and investigators to better prepare them for taking on wildfire investigations.

The U.S. Forest Service held it's yearly training exercise on Thursday, in the City of Shasta Lake for incoming fire law enforcement and investigators.

Fire Prevention Technician for the U.S. Forest Service, Patrick Callahan said field exercise preparation burn training helps to find out the origin and causes of wildfires, during fire season.

"We're running a, what you call, a FI-210 class. It's a wild-land fire origin and cause basically fire investigation," Callahan said. "We just completed ignition on a number of small spots here for the students; kind of planted some evidence out there and then they'll be looking for different types of markings and deposits of soot and the way the grass falls and different things like that, which they should be able to use their scientific methodology to work their way back to the actual fire origin and then determine the fire and the cause of the fire."

The goal of the exercise is to make it as real as possible for the students.

"We planted some beverage containers out there for them, hopefully that picks up some stains," Callahan said." And they'll work it like a snaking pattern back and forth to identify the indicators. They'll be putting down some little survey or pin flags."

Forest Fire Prevention Officer Olivia Rahman said each flag they use in the field, when conducting an investigation has a purpose, as well.

"The red flags, they relate to the advancing portion of a fire. The yellow flags are where the fire moves sideways and then the blue flags are an indicator of the fire moving backwards," Rahman said.

"It's good knowledge for anybody in the wild-land fire community. They know some of the things to look for. Its in their heads to preserve," Callahan said.

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