RIVERSIDE (CBSLA.com) — Flames and smoke leave firefighters with only seconds to make lifesaving decisions.

The fire raging at a CalFire facility Wednesday had enough fuel to overwhelm the men and women in uniform, making their training session as realistic as possible.

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“Today, we’re here teaching modern fire tactics, so updates on the new problems with structure fires and the new dangers to firefighters,” said CalFire Riverside Capt. Josh Janssen, who led the exercises.

“In a nutshell, today’s furniture burns about 24 times hotter than that of 10 to 15 years ago,” which Janssen said means crews have less time to get in and out of a building.

The fire created on scene was made of materials most commonly used in furniture today.

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“Doesn’t do anyone any good to send firefighters into a dangerous situation, trying to affect a rescue when we’re doing it based on old tactics,” Janssen said.

One of the biggest concerns for these crews is a vegetation blaze with homes in the line of fire, especially on a day like Wednesday when there’s a red flag warning.

“We’re always on high alert any time we fight a vegetation fire with a home nearby – obviously one can lead to the other,” the firefighter said.

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Officials hope this kind of training will have their crews ready for anything.