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Idaho Fire Incident Map

Friday, August 21, 2015

Hundreds of loggers receive fire training

(OROFINO) – More than 200 people, mostly loggers from north central Idaho, stepped up and showed their willingness to support firefighting efforts by participating in basic fire line training on Tuesday in Orofino.

The logging contractors refreshed their knowledge of fire behavior and how to utilize a fire shelter. The course is an annual fire refresher that is required for any equipment contractor – such as a dozer operator – who wants to assist State and federal firefighting agencies on a fire incident.

Logging contractors and their crews in the Priest River, Bonners Ferry and Moscow areas also are attending training in their communities in a similar effort to assist in this critical work.

Now that the loggers completed the training, they will be added to a list of local equipment operators that interagency dispatch centers can contact to assist with fire suppression operations in the area, after the first round of contractors in the system is depleted because of high fire activity.

Completing the course is the first step in getting the loggers under contract to help fight wildfires. Before being deployed on a fire, they also must complete additional steps outlined by State or federal agencies, such as providing documentation about the equipment and proof of insurance, and the equipment must pass inspections and qualification standards.

The training was offered free of charge by the Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) and facilitated by Northwest Management. The Associated Logging Contractors reached out to logging contractors and others in the area to encourage participation, resulting in a record number of students attending the course. The interagency management teams assisting IDL with fire suppression in the area also helped make loggers in the area aware of the training.

“There is a lot of fire season left, and it is encouraging to firefighters to know there are so many more trained individuals prepared to assist them if the need arises,” local IDL area manager Zoanne Anderson said. “The high attendance at the training shows the willing spirit and can-do attitude of our loggers in the area.”