Minnesota North College – Itasca to host Minnesota Wildfire Academy in June

Minnesota North College – Itasca to host Minnesota Wildfire Academy in June

Grand Rapids, Minn. – Minnesota’s wildland firefighters will travel to the Grand Rapids area the week of June 5 – 9, 2023, to attend the annual Minnesota Wildfire Academy. Academy coordinators expect nearly 475 students to attend the 19-course offerings focused on fire operations, planning, safety, and leadership development.

“Because the academy is open to all agencies who support wildland fire throughout Minnesota, it is one of the most powerful tools we have to develop firefighters and support personnel,” said William Glesener with the Minnesota Interagency Fire Center in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.

Drawing in students throughout Minnesota from local fire departments and tribal, state, and federal wildland fire management agencies, the academy is one of Minnesota’s largest interagency fire training events. The week-long course offerings are designed to provide realistic hands-on training experiences and networking opportunities with career-minded firefighting professionals.

Academy courses are led by Minnesota’s top wildland fire community leaders, following the coursework material approved by the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG). Throughout the week, classroom instruction and hands-on field training will introduce students to a variety of tools, equipment and procedures standard to the firefighting profession, including:

  • Basic firefighting and initial attack
  • Leading fireline hand crews and engines
  • Basic air operations and helicopter crew support
  • Emergency vehicle operations in the wildland environment
  • Field observation and fire behavior
  • Portable pumps and power saws
  • Incident Command System for expanding incidents

Minnesota’s success in wildland firefighting is rooted in collaboration at every level of fire response. The academy is a great example of collaboration with the Minnesota North College – Itasca campus, interagency instructors, event coordinators, and the Grand Rapids community working together to deliver quality learning experiences in the classroom and the wildland and urban environment.

Academy instructor uses an open sandy area as a chalkboard to explain firing operation tactics used in
wildland firefighting to students during the 2022 Minnesota Wildfire Academy.