Local Man Fights Wildfires

POSTED BY: News Department
Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - 05:24 PM
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During the summer, dry conditions in the west make it peak season for wildfires. And many of the men and women who put them out come from all over the country. Mike Bailey is one of several Ohio firefighters who help the Division of Forestry battle wildfires. He helped put out a fire covering over 17 thousand acres and threatening archeological artifacts and many ranchers’ homes in South Dakota. He got involved in 1988 because the need was high. Bailey said the Division of Forestry didn’t have enough resources to handle the fires due to government cuts, so they had to ask structural firefighters to take the training. He has learned that the fire itself is not the most dangerous part. The weather also creates a large threat when big fires are concerned. “They create their own up drafts and down drafts and they’ll actually take over the weather in their area,” said Bailey. His regular job is a fire instructor at the Ohio Fire Academy in Reynoldsburg. He had to take a 36 hour training session to be able to fight wildfires. Bailey and his team successfully put out the fire on the Wyoming-South Dakota border.

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