Firefighters during a previous training burn. (Metro Wire photo)

Firefighters schedule training burn on Dec. 16

By Brandi Makuski

Residents and motorists on the city’s southeast side should expect to see black smoke and a heavy presence of firefighters this weekend.

The Stevens Point Fire Department is hosting a training burn from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 16 at 3383 Hoover Rd. It’s an adjacent property to another home firefighters burned down last month and located at the corner of County Hwy. HH and Hoover, and the property was donated by its current owners for the exercise.

Training burns are conducted in a vacant home donated for the training opportunity. Fire Chief Jb Moody said the properties are privately owned, so the city has no authority over the fate of the property.

The training event is being organized by SPFD Training Officer Tony Ewing. Firefighters from Stevens Point, Plover, and Stockton will be in attendance.

Because of the increase in state and federal regulations governing training burns, they happen less often than in previous years, Ewing said, so crews jump at every chance they can get.

Before being able to conduct the training, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources needs to sign off, and asbestos abatement needs to be completed, as well as other safety preparations, Ewing said.

“Training in an acquired structure is second-to-none as compared to a fully-controlled simulated structure fire at fire training facilities,” he added.

Moody said crews will go through several scenario-based exercises before lighting the house on fire.

Area motorists and residents should expect heavy, black smoke throughout the day, which may cause visibility issues on the road.