IDL Launches Online Training to Build Wildland Firefighting CapacityThursday March 3, 2022
(Boise) – Modernizing Idaho Department of Lands’ (IDL) wildfire suppression program requires building the agency’s firefighting capacity. Creating new opportunities for loggers, landowners of large tracks of industrial forestland, and foresters to safely help fight wildfires presents an efficient solution to a persistent national problem, scarce firefighting resources.
Loggers and foresters have long been valuable partners during wildfire season because of their heavy equipment skills and local forest knowledge. They are often the first to spot or report fires and have the tools and skills needed to build fire lines. No one has a greater interest in suppressing a fire quickly than an industrial landowner with timber at risk.
Fighting wildfire safely requires training. IDL’s new online fire training portal for loggers, industrial forestland owners and foresters provides access to training resources that qualifies them to safely fight fire on their own land within areas where IDL provides fire protection.
The portal connects these forestry professionals with traditional in-person or virtual classes, and free self-directed online learning.
With proper training, owners and operators of heavy equipment can become eligible to contract for work suppressing fire on other lands protected by IDL. This adds to the firefighting capacity of IDL while also benefitting local economies.
“Building wildfire suppression capacity by empowering loggers, industrial landowners and foresters to fight fires on their land is a priority for leading Idaho to greater self-sufficiency,” said Governor Brad Little. “Cutting through red tape by easing access to training and certification helps our forest products industry safely extend their helping hands when fire strikes.”
The Associated Logging Contractors of Idaho (ALC) support this new training opportunity, too.
“This partnership with industry is more important than ever as wildfires have become more frequent and more severe,” noted ALC executive director Shawn Keough. “Our logging contractors and crews are usually close by and can provide initial attack before others can even arrive thus putting out fires or keeping them small and controlled. They also have the skills and equipment to continue working on containing a fire."
"This training by IDL helps cut some of the red tape involved for our crews to do this work while keeping everyone safe,” Keough added. "And given drought conditions and heightened fire risks, having additional personnel and equipment available to fight wildfires is crucial.”
IDL’s new training portal is available at www.idl.idaho.gov under the “fire” drop-down menu option. It is an easy to navigate site that gives an overview of the training resources, explains certifications that are available, has links to specific training requirements and classes, and a list of IDL area contacts.
Access Fire Training webpage