RIDGE - As peak brush fire season arrives, some Long Island firefighters took the time on Sunday to practice knocking them down.
Crews were out on a stump truck in the Pine Barrens in Ridge today for a training course. They squeezed through trees and negotiated narrow turns in the spring mud, all wearing their heavy gear.
Fighting the real thing, of course, is much more intense, with its heat, smoke, ambers and ash. It was nearly two years ago that a massive wildfire broke out not far from where the firefighters were training today. That fire charred more than 1,000 acres and prompted evacuations.
The training course that the firefighters participated in today was created by the New York Wildfire Academy, and it was designed with Long Island's terrain and topography in mind.
So far, more than 100 Long Island firefighters have taken the course. Another one will be held in October.