Good kind of smoke

Fire School returns to Sweet Home after four-year hiatus


July 5, 2023

WILDLAND firefighter trainees work at a live fire exercise Friday morning outside Sweet Home.

That plume of smoke rising over Foster Lake Friday morning, June 30, was a good thing.

The five-day Mid-Willamette Valley Interagency Wildland Fire School returned to Sweet Home last week for the first time since 2019, following a COVID pandemic-induced hiatus.

The training program public and private agencies culminated with a live fire exercise Friday on Marks Ridge, just outside of Sweet Home. More than 200 wildland firefighters and instructors participated.

The live fire was a controlled burn of slash piles created by forest management activities. It presented trainees with a final cha...

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