(From the Desk of the Governor, April 28, 2023)
On Friday, I proclaimed the month of May as Wildfire Awareness Month, and as the State of Idaho actively gears up for fire season, my administration is teaming up with loggers to better fight wildfires in Idaho forests.
Fighting wildfire safely requires training. The Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) is creating new opportunities to train loggers, foresters, and landowners of large tracts of industrial forestland to safely help fight wildfires, keep lands healthy, and save scarce firefighting resources.
In my first State of the State and Budget Address in 2019, I talked about Idaho’s leadership in embracing fresh, collaborative approaches to land and fire management. I pointed to the hundreds of ranchers and farmers who have become members of rangeland fire protection associations across southern Idaho.
I want to carry over this successful wildland firefighting model to Idaho’s forestlands by expanding the initial attack capabilities of our loggers.
The IDL online fire training portal provides access to training resources that qualifies these boots-on-the-ground to safely fight fire within areas where the IDL provides fire protection.
The portal connects forestry professionals with traditional in-person or virtual classes and free self-directed online learning.
With proper training, owners and operators of heavy equipment can become eligible to contract for fire suppression work, adding to the state’s firefighting capacity while benefitting local economies.
Building wildfire suppression capacity by empowering loggers, industrial landowners and foresters to safely fight fires leads Idaho to greater self-sufficiency. We’re making it easier to access the training and certification needed to safely fight fire, enabling industry folks to extend their helping hands when fire strikes.
Click here to find out more!