Things are heating up in Fowler!

A newly completed F-35 fire prop is now ready for military training. The trainer jet was sold to the Canadian military for their soldiers to get hands-on experience training on aircraft fires.

"It's a unique line of work," said Bob McCollum, Vice President at Kirila Fire Training Facilities, Inc. "It's a niche market that we're in."

Kirila Fire's new full-scale F-35 aircraft fire trainer was created to simulate real-life crash and fire scenarios for the Canadian military.

"It's really important because there are multiple fires and there are also other additional features for turning off a switch for the battery or the fuel," said Design Engineer Sue Morris.

The community got a glimpse at the F-35 trainer Wednesday, watching a variety of simulations including cockpit console fires, auxiliary power unit fires, wheel and brake fires, engine fires, 3D running fuel fires, and fuel spill fires. 

"Of course, kids all love to see the fire but it's realistic," Morris said. "It looks like a real fighter jet and unless you go to the airshow, you don't get to see this."

The trainer is equipped with a deployable ladder, operable canopy, realistic cockpit layout, removable mock-up AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles, and multiple touchpoints. The features allow trainees to simulate gun safety, fuel shutoff, and rescue scenarios. 

"We do it from the ground up," McCollum told 21 News. "So, we design it, we build it, we commission it, we install it and then we train the customer on how to use it."

"You look at pictures on the internet and if you can, you bring in some kind of model and you start sketching overtop of it and you try to get the right shape," Morris explained. "It is really fun."

Kirila Fire's staff told 21 News these types of creations help train thousands of Canadian soldiers each year.

"We've had a long relationship with the Canadian military and we've made a lot of different fire training props for them over the years," McCollum added. "And we're in the process of another big project up in Toronto."

Kirila Fire is known for creating a variety of trainers used locally and worldwide, including Canada, Australia, Europe, New Zealand, American Samoa, Hawaii, Saipan, and Guam.

"This plant used to be a lumber mill. I was fascinated by the safety and training equipment that they build here," said Marla Lisbon, an employee at Kirila Fire Training Facilities, Inc. "We make the fire towers for Hermitage. We make the airplanes and we make rollover SUVs."

Lisbon told 21 News several Valley fire departments use Kirila's creations, including the Brookfield Fire Department. A handful of fire departments nationwide also use Kirila's trainers, including the Dallas and Pittsburgh Fire Department.

Kirila Fire's trainers are constructed and maintained following the requirements of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the Department of Defense (DoD). 

"It's a nice niche market we're in and that's part of what makes it good," McCollum said. "We're doing something that can save lives."

Kirila Fire's staff plans to tear the trainer down on Thursday and truck it to Canada.

The F-35 fire prop will permanently stay up north for the Canadian military.