2000 Capital Area Interagency Wildfire Academy: A Preview

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The Texas Forest Service along with the Bastrop, TX, Firefighters Association and other Austin-area emergency services will host the annual Capital Area Interagency Wildfire Academy at the Texas Army National Guard's Camp Swift facility Oct. 13-22, 2000. In addition, the Southern Area Engine Academy will convene at Camp Swift Oct. 23-27.

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Photo by Robert M. Winston
Students learn the techniques of "cutting line" in the Basic Wildland Firefighting class. This class is part classroom and part hands-on training.

This annual event provides training for hundreds of structural and wildland firefighters and offers a wide variety of National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) and local fire courses. More than 30 training courses will be offered this year, taught by instructors from across the country.

Here are examples of a few of these courses: S-130/190, Basic Wildland Firefighting; S-131, Advanced Wildland Firefighting; S-200, Initial Attack Incident Commander; S-205, Fire Operations in the Wildland/Urban Interface (a must for structural firefighters); S-217, Helicopter Training and Basic Air Operations; S-230, Crew/Engine Boss; S-234, Ignition Operations; S-330, Task Force/Strike Team Leader; P-151, Wildfire Origin and Cause Determination; TFS-RxB, State Prescribed Burn Class; Dozer Operations; Class A foams; and many more interesting and highly educational classes.

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Photo by Robert M. Winston
Regional Fire Coordinator and Instructor Rich Gray, Texas Forest Service, demonstrates the use of a fusee to ignite vegetation in the Fire Ignition class.

The Southern Area Engine Academy will begin immediately following the Interagency Wildfire Academy. This five-day course will include training in pumps, water use, rural water supplies, engine maintenance, structure triage, wildland engine tactics and strategy, hose lays, nozzles and adapters, safety, engine captain/boss duties, hazardous materials, and the use of foams and fire retardants.

Supplies On Display

Vendors will be on hand for attendees to look at personal protective equipment (PPE) and other firefighting supplies or to buy these items. Guest speakers will make nighttime presentations on a variety of firefighting topics. Social events include two mixer barbecues, where the Texas style of hospitality and that great Texas home cooking really shine.

Accommodations include barracks-style lodging, breakfast and lunch, commissary, and field and classroom facilities.

There are a number of wildfire academies offered every year throughout the country and they are all very good. However, the Capital Area Interagency Wildfire Academy is unique because of its location, variety of training courses, social events and that wonderful Texas-style hospitality.

The costs: attendee/student registration PRIOR to Oct. 1 is $30 per day. AFTER Oct. 1 it is $40 per day. Oct. 9 is the cutoff date for registration.

Firefighters can register on-line at http://www.ticc.fws.gov or by contacting Academy Coordinator Stephanie Harris at the Texas Interagency Coordination Center (TICC), P.O. Box 153924, Lufkin, TX 75915; the telephone number is 936-875-4786.

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Photo by Robert M. Winston
Firefighters learn the fundamentals of structure triage and protection during the Fire Operations in the Urban Interface and the Southern Area Engine classes.


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Photo by Robert M. Winston
Regional Fire Coordinator and Instructor Marty Martinez, Texas Forest Service, teaches students how to find "evidence" during the Wildfire Origin and Cause Determination class.


Robert M. Winston, a Firehouse® contributing editor, is a district fire chief in the Boston Fire Department with extensive experience and training in wildland and SWI protection. Questions and comments may be sent to him via e-mail at dfcwins@adelphia.net.

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