Camp Pendleton is hosting a week-long training for firefighters from Southern California, stretching from Los Angeles to the border.
More than 150 men and women are participating in daily training before the start of wildfire season.
This year's Fire School includes U.S. Forest Service, Orange County Fire Authority, Cal Fire and local San Diego County agencies.
The training is designed to give young or seasoned firefighters the chance to experience what it is really like to take on wildfires.
“The uniqueness about the training is the fact that this is real world," said John Cook, Chief of Training with Camp Pendleton. "This isn’t a simulator, this is actual firefighters working in terrain. That is what they’re going to see when they go to these fires."
The training prepares firefighters to combat the fires aggressively. They also gain critical experience that can make all of the difference in an actual fire.
Firefighters start their training by igniting controlled fires across three areas with different landscapes--a flat surface, hills and steep slopes. They then have to access the area, name the fire and then move in to control the flames and extinguish them. This is the exact process followed during real fires.
"I've been doing this for over 10 years so you kind of get used to it," said Camp Pendleton firefighter Jessie Lopez. "Once you see a lot of the fire out there, it's one of those things you get comfortable with it."
Camp Pendleton is the ideal location to burn small acres without posing a threat to property or people. It has been hosting the Fire School for over 35 years.