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BOISE-- The fire season is still very much here, but soon some seasonal firefighters will be heading back to school.

Rich Daniel has been working as a seasonal firefighter for eight years. This year he is stationed in Ketchum, and this year he will leave firefighting to pursue college.

I have pride in the school, said Daniel. He will enroll at Boise State this fall.

This summer, the Idaho wildfires seem to be burning at capacity and aren t forgiving.

It's a hard job to do, said Daniel. There are natural things out there that could definitely take someone's life pretty easily; it makes you realize that it could happen to you at any time.

On August 12th, a firefighter working the Holloway fire had to deploy her emergency shelter, suffering minor burns. Also on August 12th, a 20-year-old Idaho college student, Anne Veseth was killed when a tree snag collapsed on her.

It just kind of ripples through the entire community, said Boise National Forest spokesperson Dave Olson.

The recent news of Veseth s death impacts firefighters everywhere according to Olson.

It s a time for a pause basically to say just remember what type of job we have the risks that we are dealing with everyday, he said.

Daniel admits firefighting has been tough through the years. For four years he even worked on a hot shot crew. He said the time spent working on a fire takes a toll on the body.

Your joints start to feel it after awhile, even though you are in shape and you are young, said Daniel.

As Daniel leaves to enroll in college, so do other firefighters.

We definitely plan for the potential loss of college firefighters, said Olson.

During this heightened fire season, especially when students are leaving early, many agencies pull resources from elsewhere to cover any shortfall.

Olson said understanding from the colleges and universities as well as the community is needed.

I really think we have to support the firefighters strongly because those are the folks that are doing it as hard as they can, the best work that they can to keep the fires small, said Olson.

When Daniels leaves firefighting for school-- he tells us his goal-- is to become a physical therapist.

I just grew up here and became attached to the school because it was here in Boise, he said.

In the past and again this fall, Boise State offers a two week extension for firefighters. Seasonal firefighters must prove they are employed.

Fall classes begin on August 27th at Boise State University.

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