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International fire training event held in Ashland

Smoke likely will be seen climbing from the Ashland watershed as early as Wednesday during controlled burns in the area.

But these burns will have more to them than meets the eye. They will be part of the ongoing Ashland Prescribed Fire Training Exchange — TREX — program, held at Southern Oregon University.

The program hosts firefighters from 20 organizations, which hail from four countries and seven U.S. states. Participants will work together on the planned controlled burns, bringing their unique perspective and experience to the table as a way to train for wildland firefighting and forest management.

"It's just an experience-based training model," said Chris Chambers, forestry division chief for Ashland Fire & Rescue.

The training, which will be held through Saturday, May 13, will include field trips and presentations from scientists, land managers and other field experts.