West Virginia University to host Mid-Atlantic Wildfire Training Academy

Recent Pages: West Virginia University to host Mid-Atlantic Wildfire Training Academy
 


West Virginia University to host Mid-Atlantic Wildfire Training Academy

MORGANTOWN, W.Va.—West Virginia University will host the eighth annual Mid-Atlantic Wildfire Training Academy June 7 through June 13. The academy is presented by the Mid-Atlantic Forest Fire Compact, West Virginia University Division of Forestry and Natural Resources, and the U.S. Forest Service.

The academy has 11 classes this year that are essential to wildland firefighting, including fire behavior, equipment use, and leadership development. These classes meet National Wildfire Coordinating Group standards, and participants receive a certificate upon completion.

“The academy provides important training to give Federal, state, and local firefighters the skills they need to battle wildland fires,” said Community Fire Planner Maureen Brooks with the U.S. Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry. Beyond what is normally offered, this year’s academy will have advanced Incident Command System classes as well as engine operator, task force leader, and ignitions operations classes.

Over 200 people have registered for the academy, according to Academy Coordinator Sera Zegre. “This year’s academy will host more students and more classes than in previous years,” said Zegre. Most participants are from state and Federal agencies that are members of the Mid-Atlantic Forest Fire Compact. “A majority of those attending the training academy come from our member states. We have folks coming from Florida and Wisconsin to get the training they need,” Zegre noted.

Seven states make up the Mid-Atlantic Forest Fire Compact: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia. Compact members promote effective fire prevention and the control of wildfires in the Mid-Atlantic region. Collectively, these States are responsible for protecting more than 35 million acres of woodland.

The compact reduces wildfire suppression costs for local, state, and Federal jurisdictions by allowing states to share personnel and equipment. The compact also minimizes the firefighting burden on any one state when many fires occur at the same time.

###

Note to Editor:

The Basic Firefighter course will include field exercises on June 9 at the WVU Research Forest near the Westvaco Natural Resource Center.  Participants will learn to construct a fire line using various methods and to extinguish a fire with or without water.

The Wildland Fire Origin and Cause Determination course will include field exercises at the WVU Research Forest near the Westvaco Center on June 11 and June 12. Participants will practice investigating wildland fires, collecting evidence and documenting information in a realistic environment.

The Fire Operations in the Wildland-Urban Interface course will include field exercises in the Hickory Ridge neighborhood off Canyon Road on June 12. Participants will gain the skills and knowledge to size up a wildland-urban interface fire incident, evaluate the potential situation, order and deploy the necessary resources, and apply safe and effective strategy and tactics to minimize the threat to life and property.

The Wildland Fire Chain Saw course will include field exercises at the Snake Hill Wildlife Management Area on June 9 and June 10 to give firefighters hands-on cutting experience in surroundings similar to fire-line situations.

The Portable Pumps and Water Use course will hold a field exercise at the Cooper’s Rock State Forest trout pond on June 12 to demonstrate operation of pump equipment.

The Ignitions Operations course will hold a field exercise with live fire at the Cheat Lake Volunteer Fire Department in the afternoon of June 12 to demonstrate tools and techniques used for fire operations in wildland or prescribed fires.

The Engine Operator course will hold a field exercise at the WVU band practice area in the afternoon of June 12 to practice driving skills; additional field exercises will be held June 13 at the WVU Research Forest near the Westvaco Center for participants to learn about a variety of field pumping and engine skills.
    
Contact Sera Zegre at (304) 293-0030 for more information about these training opportunities.

# # #

Follow us on Facebook:  WV Commerce - Forestry

News Release:  June 4, 2014      

Contact:  Leslie Fitzwater Smithson, Public Information Specialist, 304-957-9342 or 304-541-8102, Leslie.C.Smithson@wv.gov