Elite Crews Fight Fires Here, and Around the Nation - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Elite Crews Fight Fires Here, and Around the Nation

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The fast moving flames we all run from are what men like Isaac Powning run towards. "A lot of times we fight fire with fire. It's safer to firefighters."

A true warrior, Isaac has been right in the middle of hundreds of firefights in his 21-year career. He's currently the fuels management officer at North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District. "Hot shots are a 20 person hand crew. They're the elite of the wildland fire environment."

We only have a few hot shot crewmembers in Nevada.

Isaac was one of the nation relied on. He spent summers traveling state-to-state going head first into nearly every major fire the U.S. faced. "Steep country, a lot of hiking, typically working 16 hour days."

Isaac showed us why his job is not for the weak. "Inside these packs we carry food, first-aid equipment."

Also, his video from fire lines prove the dangers, burning limbs are in limbo, blowing embers are blinding and the smoke? Suffocating. "You're feeling the sparks, the ember washed your eating, a lot of smoke."

Fires like the Angora, he remembers vividly as he tried to save houses from the middle of engulfed neighborhoods. "The conditions on Angora, Washoe, Caughlin, those are all exciting conditions."

A hero challenged to the extreme doing a job as dirty as it is exhausting, but at the end of the day, if it wasn't for his team of firefighters, a lot of the land we all love would be lost.

Written by Neda Iranpour

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