USA — The South Dakota Wildland Fire Division has hosted a Wildland Fire Academy that resulted in 399 National Wildfire Coordinating Group training certificates being issued to participants from 49 local, state and federal agencies.
In conjunction with the Black Hills National Forest, Nebraska National Forest and Grasslands, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the State Fire Marshalls Office, a total of 17 classes were offered on a variety of training subjects at the March 21-24 event in Fort Pierre.
The focus of the academy was to provide personnel from volunteer fire departments with the opportunity to take part in wildland fire classes for upward advancement in incident qualifications.
The event was funded largely by U.S. Department of Interior Ready Reserve Grants that provide federal money for wildland fire training and advancement opportunities. Six South Dakota volunteer fire departments used the funding to attend the training.
We had a very successful academy with wonderful interagency cooperation, said Rob Lehmann, South Dakota Wildland Fire Division training officer. Plans are already in progress for an academy next year.
Agriculture is South Dakota’s No. 1 industry, generating over $21 billion in annual economic activity and employing more than 122,000 South Dakotans. The South Dakota Department of Agriculture’s mission is to promote, protect, preserve and improve this industry for today and tomorrow.