Military Veterans Train In Santa Monica Mountains To Become Wildland Firefighters

Mar 5, 2018

About 100 military veterans spent the past three days in the Santa Monica Mountains training to fight wildfires.

A group of mostly veterans is undergoing a communication training exercise. They’re holding a string while blindfolded, and they have to work together to create different shapes.

This team-building exercise is happening at Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills. Instructors from the Bureau of Land Management are also teaching them how to use fire equipment and how to dig fire lines.

The idea is to get these veterans -- like Navy vet Dan Konzen -- prepared to become wildland firefighters.

“My background has always been to help people. It’s very important to me to always be able to help out others. Fighting the fires is one more way I can contribute,” he says.

The men and women training this past weekend are part of Team Rubicon, which is a nonprofit that helps veterans transition from military to civilian life through disaster relief deployment.