How Wildfires Are Fought And What You Can Do If One Threatens YouWes Siler6/09/14 7:19pmFiled to: Forest FiresWildfireFire FighterWilderness Fire FighterSafetyhow tofireIndefinitely Wild94EditPromoteShare to KinjaToggle Conversation toolsGo to permalinkIt's only June and 2014 is already a record fire year out west. We asked a wildfire fighter how fires are fought, what causes them and what you can do if you find yourself in their path. AdvertisementIndefinitelyWild: Who are you and what do you know about fighting fires?Jake Novitsky: I graduated from Penn State University with a Bachelor's in Forestry and an Associate's in Wildlife. I now work for the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry as a Forest Technician. AdvertisementI got into fire fighting because I think learning about fire behavior and how fire is used to help regenerate forest is interesting. Also, I see it as another way I can use my knowledge and skills to help the public. I fight fires not only in Pennsylvania, but all over the country. I've done that in Idaho, Montana and Colorado, to name a few places. IW: How do most wildfires get started?SponsoredJN: They can be caused by natural occurrences such as lightning or by someone being irresponsible, whether that be leaving a fire unattended or by arson. Most wildfires in Pennsylvania are caused by people burning brush. Out of state fires that I've fought were caused by lightning strikes. I can't put a definitive split on causation being natural or manmade though. IW: What steps can people take to prevent forest fires?JN: People can educate themselves on fire and the ways they can be started. The public can obey current laws and regulations on burn bans. If you have a campfire or burn barrels, make sure you don't leave them unattended. Make sure to keep water, a shovel or a rake handy as well. ShareTweet Kinja is in read-only mode. We are working to restore service.