My Public Lands

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    After completing the field exercises, the students hike from their staging area to a simulated fire line. Potential firefighters from the Eastern Nevada Agency, Bureau of Indian Affairs, train for deploying equipment via helicopter. Communication skills are put to the test where potential firefighters are blindfolded and required to place the basketball in the trash can aided only by teammates via a handheld radio. Potential firefighters learn to use the pulaski, a special hand tool used in wildland firefighting. Simulating shoveling dirt on a fire line, potential firefighters use dirt to attempt to knock the hardhat off a shovel. After completing the field exercises, the students hike from their staging area to a simulated fire line.

    Nevada Interagency Wildland Fire Management Team Goes to “Rookie School”

    In order to prepare new recruits for the upcoming fire season, seasoned wild land firefighters representing local, state and federal agencies from across Nevada conducted  a week-long intense training in wild land firefighting. Located at the Austin High School football field in Nevada, the approximately 80 students pitched tents and lived in field conditions for the entire week.

    The training combined class and field exercises providing the requirements to work as a wild land firefighter with any state or federal agency. Classes included basics of the incident command system, firefighter preparedness, fire weather, fire behavior, fire shelter deployment, map and compass reading and wild land fire safety. The field exercises included pump and hose lay use, basic firefighting tool use and care, working around engines and power saws, and a mock fire exercise. Upon completion of the course, all students were qualified as Firefighters Type II. 

    Participating agencies included the Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Nevada Department of Forestry and some volunteer fire departments.

    By Kayla McCarson, BLM Elko District Public Affairs Intern

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