Minnesota Wildfire Academy Update – June 9, 2023

Academy Statistics
Courses                        5                      
Lead Instructors         5         
Students                    172
IMT Members            23

The 2023 Minnesota Wildfire Academy will come to a close today at noon. It has been a full and busy week of learning about the many facets of wildland fire and practicing with the tools and procedures designed to promote safe working conditions in hazardous wildfire environments. As students travel home to their agencies after completing academy courses, many will continue their training efforts with newly open task books that will extend the practical hands-on application of skills during live wildfire incidents. Often, students who attend the Minnesota Wildfire Academy follow a progressive learning path leading to higher levels of leadership in wildland fire throughout their careers. Many thanks go out to the students, course instructors, the participating agencies who coordinated the event and encouraged staff members to attend, the local organizations who opened their facilities and land to host Academy training events, and the entire Grand Rapids community for the support that lead to the successful outcome of the Academy.

Yesterday’s accomplishments: The basic firefighting course wrapped up their six outdoor field course exercises working with hand tools, pumps, engines and the common techniques used in wildland firefighting to construct a fireline and mop up hotspots. The Power Saws course relocated their training session to a forest area near the college campus to work on falling trees using power saws. The pumps course worked with the Mark-3 portable pumps and ran hose lays from drop tanks. The second Emergency Vehicle Operations course completed a defensive driving course in a wildland environment at the gravel pit.  

Today’s planned activities: The pumps course will wrap up their outdoor field practice working with pumps and hose lay. A one-day wildland fire observation course, introducing students to the protocols involved with wildland fire investigations, and an annual safety refresher course, including practice shelter deployments, will fill the final two of the 19-course offerings held at the 2023 Minnesota Wildfire Academy.  

Summary:  The Minnesota Wildfire Academy is one of the largest wildland fire training events held in Minnesota. Since 2001, the Academy has become the primary training model for cultivating new talent. Students are exposed to knowledge, career opportunities, and a network of professionals who can support their career goals.

Cooperating Agencies:  Minnesota North College cc Itasca Campus, University of Minnesota North Central Research and Outreach Center, Independent School District 318,Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, USDA Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, Minnesota Fire Chiefs Association, Minnesota State Fire Marshall, Department of Public Safety, Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa.

This is the final update for the 2023 Minnesota Wildfire Academy.