Firefighters practice burn emergency strategies at Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport

They practice on a mat filled with propane and a mock-up of an airplane

ROANOKE, Va. – If you see flames coming from Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport this week, don't worry. It's part of burn emergency training.

Because of the amount of fuel in a plane, an airplane fire can get hotter and spread faster; it's also more confined. Those unique factors are why the Federal Aviation Administration requires these trainings to happen at least once a year.

A mat filled with propane and a mock-up of an aircraft give airport, city and county firefighters the realistic experience they need.

"So, if something does happen, it's instinct and you're just responding, as opposed to having to think about what to do. And that's why we not only train for the airport firefighters but we also bring in our partners in the city and county so they can train, as well," said Brad Boettcher, the director of marketing and air service development at Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport.

Next month, the airport will host a snow removal training.