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Ground Attack Crews Prepare For Wildfire Season In Colorado

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The Pike Hotshots prepare for this year's wildfire season (credit: CBS)

The Pike Hotshots prepare for this year’s wildfire season (credit: CBS)

GALLERIES: COLORADO'S WORST WILDFIRES

MONUMENT, Colo. (CBS4)- Fire crews are taking advantage of this week’s rainy and low fire danger to prepare for this year’s fire season.

The Pike Hotshots, based in Monument, are a 20-person crew made up of firefighters from around the country. Together they battle wildfires not only in Colorado but across the U.S.

Their specialty is cutting the line around the fire, using fast running chainsaws and hand tools, for containment. It’s a critical part of the firefight as it keeps the fire from growing.

Crews began training in April that included two weeks of physical exercise and education in a classroom setting.

“We do a lot of discussion on past fire scenarios; as for positive ones why crews were successful on a given fire and we also look at things that have happened that haven’t been so positive so we can learn from those,” said Pike Hotshots Superintendent Kevin Neiman.

The Pike Hotshots helped battle the High Park Fire in Larimer County last summer. They look at last year as one of the worst case scenarios but one that brought valuable lessons they hope to learn from in years to come.

Hotshots frequently work long hours under primitive conditions without hot meals or showers.

2011 VIDEO ARCHIVE: Watch a CBS4 archive report with more on the Pike Hotshots

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