Firefighters prep for busy wildfire season

Firefighters across the Phoenix area are banding together to prepare for what experts are predicting will be a busy wildfire season.

More than 25 agencies including local fire departments, state and federal agencies attended the two-day training at the Tonto National Forest.

The collaboration between local, state and federal agencies fosters relationships and builds confidence to help when an actual wildfire occurs.

Last year, the Yarnell Hill Fire killed 19 firefighters from the Granite Mountain Hotshots.

Andrew Lyman said the tragedy crosses his mind when he thinks about fighting a wildfire.

“Not too many guys have deployed their shelters over the years and survived,” said Lyman.

Fire Captain Al Dibenedetto said no particular training was added or changed because of Yarnell.

“We as a fire service traditionally learn from our successes and failures or mistakes,” said Dibenedetto. “What we are doing here is bringing that all together.”

“We truly like helping people,” said Lyman. “People say that ‘you’re a firefighter, you like to help people,’ but it's more than that. It goes above and beyond that.”

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