Photo Story: KCFD1 Hosts burn to learn, for student firefighters final exam [VIDEO]


Today five student firefighters with Klamath County Fire District 1 received hands on training in their final exam before graduation and joining the ranks of firefighter. For several it was not their first experience battling fire but it was the first experience with KCFD1.

“Today we have a training fire, we call it a burn to learn,” says Dave Sonneman, Firefighter and Instructor for KCFD1. “We get them in there with real live fire and we see how they react.”

Klamath County Fire District 1 held a burn to learn for student firefighters. Pictured here are Kyle Brink, Jared Hoopers, Justin Llanes, Jacob Conley, Brett Doshier and their instructor, Dave Sonneman. The class took a moment for a group photo in front of the home that was donated for the training exercise by Power Pac Rentals and Sales. March 14, 2019 (Brian Gailey / Klamath Falls News)

Fire behavior is the name of the game when it comes to the burn to learn training exercises.

“We want them [student firefighters] to see a fire from its incipiency all the way to a full open burn,” says Sonneman. “We want them to get some heat and see how the smoke behaves and get some real life training before going to their assignment.”

The home at 5132 Miller Ave in Klamath Falls was donated for use for KCFD1 by Power Pac Rentals and Sales. Power Pac owns the land and is planning to expand their yard once the land is cleaned up following the exercise.

“Firefighter Patzke did a lot of work getting the home ready for today’s exercise,” said Sonneman. “I want to make sure to give him lots of credit.”

At the last count 20 firefighters were taking advantage of the training opportunities. Including firemen from KCFD1, Kingsley Fire and the Oregon Department of Forestry.

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