Firing up the pump and spraying powerful water from a fire hose into the gray sky, foresters with Seneca Jones Timber Company honed their firefighting skills Friday morning.

Every year, the company hosts Fire School to bring staff from the Roseburg and Eugene offices together to prepare for fire season.

“Our intent here is to get our attitude and our heads ready for fire season,” said Ted Reiss, timberlands manager for Seneca.

Douglas Forest Protective Association staff were also on site to assist with the training while groups of Seneca employees rotated between four stations.

At one station, they were briefed on how to use a hand-held radio device for communicating during a fire. Instructors at another station taught how to use large machinery to create fire trails.

The other stations involved practicing using pumps, fire hoses and water trucks.

“We’re reorienting ourselves to the equipment,” said Adam Stinnett.

“We do this every year to refresh ourselves on how to operate the pumps and on fire safety, fire behavior and communications,” Bill Wynkoop said.

Wynkoop added staff from the Roseburg office tend to fight more fires than the Eugene office, and Seneca Jones helps fight fires not only on its own property but on property managed by its neighbors and the government.

“If the DFPA asks us to help them, we’ll come help because they help us too,” said Mark Gardner, who is qualified to operate the large equipment used in suppressing fires.

Fire season for DFPA protected lands started yesterday.

Reporter Emily Hoard can be reached at 541-957-4217 or ehoard@nrtoday.com. Or follow her on Twitter @hoard_emily.

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Outdoors and Natural Resources Reporter

Emily Hoard is the business, outdoors and natural resources reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at 541-957-4217 or by email at ehoard@nrtoday.com. Follow her on Twitter @hoard_emily.

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