PHOTOS: Training in Vale prepares BLM firefighters for what is sure to come

An engine crew hikes up Vale's Rinehart Butte during physical training on June 24, 2021. (ANGELINA KATSANIS/The Enterprise)

VALE - Vale's seasonal wildland firefighters came to the Vale District of the Bureau of Land Management earlier this season with a wide range of backgrounds, experience, and reasons for joining. But all of those differences were set aside when the 2021 fire season in Oregon started in early June. A new community was formed, and together they made it through the ups and downs of an intense month of training.

“People think we just sit around until a fire happens then we go squirt some water. But that’s not the case,” Al Crouch, Vale BLM’s Fire Information Officer and Fire Investigator said.

From daily physical training to classroom learning to field practice . . .