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East Idaho wildland firefighter training

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - A new generation of firefighters is one step closer to protecting Idaho's great outdoors.

Applicants from Idaho's Basic Fire School met in Ryder Park in Idaho Falls on Friday for a wildland firefighter field day.

After Friday's training, they'll officially qualify to be wildland firefighters.

"We've been building knowledge and a foundation up to this point to set them up with the skills to be successful," Assistant Fire Management Officer Caribou for the Targhee National Forest Jacob Henrie said. "And then at the end of the day, they'll be issued what's called a red card, which is what authorizes them to fight wildland fire within the interagency environment."

In the final step of training, new hires dug ditches in a wildfire simulation. It was long work under the hot sun. But most of the potential firefighters are no strangers to hard work.

"I started working in public lands and I just saw wildfire affecting everything I was doing and everything around me," said soon-to-be firefighter John Clark-Quebler. "I felt like it was a good time to move into it and start doing some good work and especially with the drought going on."

Trainees from the Department of Fish and Game, Fish and Wildlife Service, BLM, and the Forest Service participated in the training.

Henrie tells us the teamwork here reflects the real world of wildland firefighting.

"Fire doesn't care if there's a line on a map, fire is going to burn across that land. And so we all have this responsibility. We're all going to respond," Henrie said. "So we all train together. We all talk together, and we always find incidents together. And we can't do it. The Forest Service can't do it by ourselves. The BLM can't do it by themselves."

Article Topic Follows: Idaho Falls
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Seth Ratliff

Seth is a reporter for Local News 8 and Eyewitness News 3.

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