There's no denying it--firefighting is a dangerous business.
"It's back-breaking work,” said Dwight Dold with the Texas A&M Forest Service. “You may be working on a hand crew with hand tools. You may be on an engine, you may be on a dozer."
Training can be the difference between life and death.
"We've had a lot of events that happened 2011 and since,” Austin Fire Lt. Andre De La Reza said. “Austin's always had fire around it and they're gotten bigger with the drought conditions we've been having."
That's why first responders from all over the state come to Camp Swift for the Texas Interagency Wildfire and Incident Management Academy.
"There's a lot of training that goes on out here for responders to deal with all hazards out there, whether it be a hurricane, tornado, flood," said Les Rogers, an instructor with the academy.
"We're taking all the lessons that we're learning here and talking them back to the department," De La Reza said.
Experts say the devastating Bastrop County Complex fire in 2011 is one example of the growing risk.
"We used to be a very rural state and we've become a very urbanized state," Rogers said.
The growing threat is called the wildland urban interface -- the mix of vegetation and buildings that can be a firefighters worst nightmare.
"Starting to see more dramatic fire behavior as well as compounding a lot of the things that firefighters have to deal with,” Rogers said.
The academy has classroom and hands-on training, but participants say sharing fire experiences is the key.
"We always call them war stories,” De La Reza said. “How those stories, how people’s experiences interplay with the book learning."
"Do a lot of cross talk, cross pollination, you know, share war stories and those kinds of things and that's created a good learning environment," Rogers said.
They never know what they might face next.
"When you're not sure who to call, they call firefighters,” Dold said. “They'll figure it out."
Firefighters say everyone should be prepared for a fire. The Texas A&M Forest Service has an interactive wildfire risk website where you can determine the chance of wildfire in your neighborhood. Check it out at TexasWildfireRisk.com.