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BASTROP, October 10, 2013— Firefighters from across the country will soon be heading to Camp Swift in Bastrop, just 3 miles from where one of the state’s most devastating wildfires occurred, to attend one of the nation’s largest wildfire academies.
The 16th Annual Capital Area Interagency Wildfire Academy, held from Oct. 11-Oct. 24, is designed for all levels of municipal, rural volunteer and wildland firefighters.
Rather than having to attend for the duration of the academy, attendees are able to pick and choose applicable classes ranging from basic to advanced firefighting and leadership to emergency vehicle and dozer operations.
“It’s as close to a fire assignment as you can get without actually going to a fire that has the potential to burn houses down,” said Jan Amen, Academy Public Information Officer. “It is set up just like a wildfire incident so you know exactly what it’s like.”
The cost is $60 per day and includes breakfast, lunch and course materials. Volunteer firefighters can be reimbursed for this cost through the Rural Volunteer Fire Department Assistance Program, a grants program funded by the state and administered by Texas A&M Forest Service.
“The academy gives our guys the opportunity for hands on practice and world class training from some of the leaders in firefighting,” said TFS Wildland Urban Interface Specialist Andy McCrady. “It doesn’t get more real than this.”
The academy is a joint effort coordinated by Texas Army National Guard, Texas A&M Forest Service, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Weather Service, The Nature Conservancy, National Wildfire Coordinating Group and Texas Wildfire Association.
For more information, go to the Texas Interacency Coordinating Center training page or contact the academy registrar at AcademyRegistrar@tfs.tamu.edu or 979-458-7330.
© 2017 Tomlinson-Leis Communications L.P.