In the last several years, as I'm sure we have all seen, wildfires have seriously been on the rise. The Camp Fire in 2018 was the worst in the history of the state of California-and things sure aren't getting better.
As a matter of fact, the governor of California has warned residents that wildfires would almost certainly become the “norm” for the state. And I'm sure (or at least I hope) we're all aware of the wildfires that have devastated Australia in the past several months. They're expected to burn until March.
What do we do? First of all, I recommend that everyone who's ready and able should go get certified to fight wildfires! That is if you think you can handle the pack test. Don't worry, to pass you'll only need to walk three miles…with a forty-five-pound pack…in forty-five minutes or less. Scared? That's okay. You can always find a different way to support fire suppression efforts and wildland firefighters!
However, do you think you've got what it takes to become certified? Great! First, start training! Begin by simply hiking or walking regularly. Soon, you should add a lighter pack, then eventually move to forty-five pounds for three miles. See how fast you can do it? The rule is: NO RUNNING ALLOWED!
Of course, don't kill yourself doing it. If you don't think you can handle it, STOP! This is incredibly strenuous, and don't beat yourself up if you decide it's not for you. If you can though…great! You'll earn your “red card,” in other words your certification to fight wildfires. Just expect to get bruises from the pack…and naturally, wear workout clothes and broken-in shoes!