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Idaho Department of Land develops online portal for more wildland firefighting training

IDL said the training is to improve wildland firefighting capacity, train loggers, foresters, and industrial forestland owners.
Credit: AP Photo/John Locher, File
FILE - In this Nov. 10, 2018, file photo, a firefighter sprays water on a controlled burn while fighting a wildfire in Magalia, Calif. The outbreak of the coronavirus is making the U.S. Forest Service and others change strategies for fighting wildfires, as the need for isolation and social distancing comes into play against the necessity of having firefighters work and live closely together. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

BOISE, Idaho —

The Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) has created an online training portal to modernize its wildfire suppression program. The program allows new opportunities for loggers, landowners, and foresters to help safely fight wildfires.  

IDL said in a press release that the training opportunities are an “efficient solution to a persistent national problem, scarce firefighting resources.”

Loggers and foresters can be valuable during wildfire incidents because of their knowledge of local forests and heavy equipment skills. They are often the first to spot wildfires and have the skills necessary to begin initial fire suppression tactics. 

After receiving the proper training, heavy equipment operators can also become eligible to work contracts for fire suppression on IDL lands.

"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." 

IDL's new training portal is also supported by the Associated Logging Contractors of Idaho (ALC). 

"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." 

People can access IDL’s new training portal here. 

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