Posted: Jun 28, 2013 5:35 PM by Keele Smith - KBZK News
Updated: Jun 28, 2013 5:36 PM
It's a hot one today, and some fire crew members got their sweat on as part of an annual fitness test.
Each year, crew members must prove they are fit enough to hit the trails during fire season.
They have to walk three miles in 45 minutes with 45-pound backpacks to refresh their fire-line fitness certification.
That turns out be six and a half laps around Bozeman Pond.
One participant says the test isn't all that bad.
"This is pretty mild," said Josh Kinsel, Bozeman Trail Crew. "Compared to the actual working conditions you're out in - hiking up steep slopes, and over down logs and wearing full Nomex suits and having a helmet on and everything and carrying the same amount of weight."
Crews also freshen up on safety guidelines during the pack tests and learn about issues to be aware of this fire season.
They weren't the only ones sweating today.
KBZK also brushed up on fire skills today learning from the pros how to safely cover fires.
Officials from local law enforcement, the U.S. Forest Service and Yellowstone National Park gave us some tips and an update on the season.
A member of the National Weather Service says we'll have another hot and dry summer--with temperatures peaking in August and September.
He expects moderate to extreme drought conditions - especially in Southwest Montana.
Officials say the Gallatin National Forest is pretty moist right now--but it won't last for long.
"We're kinda blessed this year a little bit, but the heats coming and we'll be rolling into fire season soon," said Fred Jones, Gallatin National Forest Fire Management Officer.