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Black smoke in Casper comes from Airports ARFF training

Published: May. 13, 2022 at 7:13 PM CDT
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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - Every year Casper citizens my find themselves looking to the clear blue sky and seeing clouds of black smoke coming from the airport. This may look alarming but is no cause for concern. This thick black smoke is almost certainly coming from the Airport Rescue and Fire Fighter (ARFF) training that is held twice a year at the Natrona County International Airport.

The training is required for airport rescue staff to take every two years to recertify themselves. This training may seem fairly ordinary and standard but the Natrona County Airports training is attended by airport rescue organizations all over the Northwest. This is because of the type of fires that they produce.

While most airports in surrounding states conduct these burns with propane gas, the Natrona County Airport continues to use off road diesel for their burns. This is very desirable for training purposes because it most closely mimics real life burns like these rescue crews would see in the field.

“The big difference with Casper and this training center specifically is the fact that they’re still using petroleum based products to light fires. So we get more realistic fires, bigger fires and it’s a newer prop and so it’s a smooth operation and they’ve really mastered what they’ve got going on here,” said Luke Jerome, an engineer and paramedic with the Redmond fire and rescue crew out of Oregon.

Many rescue groups also attend this training specifically because their fire and rescue vehicles are quite similar if not exactly the same.

So next time you look up and see some ominous smoke rising from the West just know that it’s more than likely fire and rescue teams honing their skills to bring back to their homes, and better protect citizens in their own towns and cities.

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