The Delaware Forest Service (DFS) is always looking for motivated recruits to join its wildland fire crew. There is no cost for training and no previous experience necessary. Candidates must be over 18 years, willing to learn, physically fit, and able to travel for at least two weeks at a time, usually in the summer months. In a typical year, the DFS would offer its in-person classes over several weekends in Dover. This year, all required courses for new firefighters will be offered online through the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) and Federal Emergency Management Agency websites. The complete list of courses and links to online training are at https://de.gov/firecrew
Delaware’s wildfire crew is returning to the First State after successfully battling blazes on a 14-day assignment in Arizona and California. Delaware’s 21-person team mobilized at Blackbird State Forest in Smyrna on August 28. On August 30 they were assigned to the Griffin Fire, a 61,821-acre blaze in Arizona’s Tonto National Forest in the U.S. Forest Service’s Southwest Region. They subsequently took on the Rockhouse Fire, a 19,506-acre blaze on land managed by the San Carlos Agency of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, located 22 miles southeast of San Carlos, AZ. On September 9, they were transferred to the Southern California Geographic Area and assigned to the Valley Fire, which has consumed 17,665 acres in the Cleveland National Forest and located 19 miles northeast of Chula Vista, CA. The crew is expected to arrive back at Blackbird State Forest in Smyrna, Delaware by Friday afternoon, September 18.
The Delaware Forest Service is sending its wildfire crew to New Mexico as a steep increase in lightning-caused fires has pushed the National Preparedness Level to 5 on a 5-point scale, its highest level. Critical fire weather continues throughout the West. According to the National Interagency Fire Center, the majority of the fire activity remains in Arizona and California, where over 1.5 million acres have burned. So far this year, more than 38,767 fires have burned 3.7 million acres.
Delaware has trained more than 600 firefighters since 1996 and battled wildfires in numerous states, including: Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, California, Colorado, Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Utah, Virginia, and Washington. http://de.gov/wildfire
The Delaware Forest Service is looking for motivated recruits to enroll in wildfire training classes starting in February at the Delaware Department of Agriculture, 2320 S. DuPont Highway, Camden, DE. There is no cost for training and no previous experience needed. Candidates must be over 18 years of age, willing to learn, physically fit, and able to travel for at least two weeks at a time, usually in the summer months. Attendance at all classes is required for prospective wildland firefighters to achieve “red card” certification from the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG).
Students can register by filling out the online registration form by January 31, 2020. Complete details are at http://de.gov/wildfire.
The Delaware Forest Service will host its “23rd Annual Fire Camp” event at Blackbird State Forest (502 Blackbird Forest Road, Smyrna DE 19977) on Saturday, March 30 from 6:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The intensive one-day seminar is the capstone of the agency’s wildfire training program to certify its emergency firefighters to meet National Wildfire Coordinating Group standards. State forest visitors should be advised that trail closures and other restrictions will be in effect for the event.