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Fire Protection Association Concludes Basic Training
On Thursday, February 11, the
Camas Creek Rangeland Fire Protection Association (RFPA) concluded their
initial fire training in Dubois, Idaho.Forty local landowners – mostly ranchers – completed the four-day
training conducted by employees of Idaho Falls District Bureau of Land
Management (BLM) and Caribou-Targhee National Forest.As fires continue to threaten the western
landscape and the sagebrush-steppe habitat necessary for the survival of the
greater regional sage-grouse, targeted action through coordinated fire
suppression activities is increasingly important.Working with local ranchers to engage in safe
fire suppression efforts benefits the landowners and the federal agencies.The RFPA is the first for the Idaho Falls
District and will have protection responsibilities for all of Clark County plus
the Birch Creek drainage of Lemhi County.
Casterson, Upper Snake Field Office Manager, welcomed the group, “I believe our
fire and aviation program is the best there is, and I see you as an extension
of that.”Casterson explained the
policies that guide the BLM’s land management approach, including those that
address rangeland fire in sage-grouse habitat.He also thanked the group for their willingness to work with the BLM and
cited their connections to the local community as one of the greatest benefits
to the mutual success of the BLM and RFPA.
Dan Zajanc displays a fire shelter to the group.
course of the four days, all attendees learned basic fire suppression
techniques and communication skills.They learned how to apply what they already know about local weather
patterns to fire behavior.Instructors
shared their experiences in fireline leadership, command, and safety.To receive a certificate for the training,
each participant practiced deploying a fire shelter, a life-saving piece of
mandatory fireline equipment.
Falls District Fire Management Officer Joel Gosswiller was enthusiastic by the
turnout.He discussed the RFPA’s
boundaries and authorities.“This is a
perfect area for an RFPA because Clark County is more removed from the
population hubs in eastern Idaho.Their
presence bolsters our initial response capabilities when we do have wildfires
in the area.”
Camas Creek RFPA is still in the process of attaining necessary equipment, from
additional fire engines to radios.Later
this spring, the BLM and RFPA will conduct coordinated field training exercises