Over the sound of a growing blaze and a nearing helicopter, firefighters yelled instructions to light brush and neat lines of debris on fire. Trainers were teaching 104 firefighters from 33 metro agencies, ranging from first season newbies to seasoned fighters, how to approach wildfires.
Friday’s training is becoming more important than ever. Experts predict the upcoming wildfire season will have higher risks of big, costly fires. That’s coming after 2018's record-setting fire season, which racked up wildfire-fighting bills of $514.6 million. The above-average concern focuses on northwest Oregon and western Washington in June, then includes all of western Oregon and eastern Washington by July, according to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center.