Wildland firefighter trainees windup a fire hose.
With fires raging across the Western states dramatic images of wildland firefighters attempting to contain the flames are a regular visual in newspapers and on TV and computer devices across the country. These striking visuals rouse the fighter in some of us and we might ask: Can I fight a wildfire?
The answer is you can—if you meet certain criteria. Both federal and state agencies have varying requirements to award what is referred to as a Wildfire Qualification Card. Like a driver’s license, this card says you’re certified to fight wildland fires. So how do you get one? Aside from hours of online testing, you’ll have to enroll in a week long fire training-type boot camp where you’ll take more tests and be given a large spiral bound book called the Fireland Handbook. Read more »
CNN news and weather anchor Rob Marciano highlights multi-agency partnerships and the benefits of prescribed fire during a visit to Bristol, Fla., hosted by The Nature Conservancy on Tuesday, June 19, 2012. Prescribed fire is integral in improving forest health and is one of the most effective tools used
This summer’s wildland fires in the West have galvanized the nation’s attention and mobilized arsenals of fire-fighting support to bring those fires under control. But there is another type of fire known as prescribed fire which helps make forests and grasslands healthier and protects communities and natural resources including access to clean, abundant water. Read more »
Prescribed burn at the Tahoe National Forest. (Photo: Steve McKelvey, U.S. Forest Service
There’s hot debate over whether or not to conduct prescribed burning and mechanical thinning (the manual removal of trees) in our nation’s forests. Supporters of these fuels reduction methods, which remove highly flammable undergrowth, argue that they help lower the severity of wildfires. Meanwhile, opponents say that the treatments can hurt the environment. Read more »
A Modular Airborne Firefighting unit is loaded aboard a North Carolina Air National Guard C-130. US Air Force photo.
Flying C-130 Hercules aircraft and equipped with roll-on Modular Airborne Fire Fighting Systems (MAFFS) which dispense retardant, U.S. Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard crews have been training around the country to help suppress wildfires this season. Read more »
A boot camp participant learns how to use a fire hose.
The first weekend of the first ever Women in Wildland Fire Boot Camp exceeded the expectations of boot camp organizer, Bequi Livingston.
“The first session of our boot camp programs were beyond incredible and certainly one of the highlights of my career. I think that we have certainly developed a model for future use that is very successful and provides so much ownership at the field level,” Livingston said. Read more »
So far this year, Texas has lost more than 256,000 acres and 147 structures, as well as livestock, to 511 wildfires.
Fortunately, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Texas is now making $400,000 available through its Environmental Quality Incentives Program to those who have suffered from the year’s wildfires to help them reestablish conservation practices on Texas rangeland.
NRCS provides technical help, and in some cases, financial assistance, to install measures that reduce post-fire damage and aid in the rehabilitation process, restoring plant health and preventing erosion. Read more »