FORT PIERRE, S.D. – (DRG News) Fort Pierre was host to a four day wildfire training academy, which started Thursday and ended Sunday. The event was coordinated by the South Dakota Wildland Fire Division and included about 200 firefighters from all across the state. Jim Burk, Rural Fire Assistance Specialist with SD Wildland Fire says officials have been talking about arranging a wild land fire academy in South Dakota for a few years. The focus of the just ended academy was to reinforce safety practices and train firefighters in various skills from basic to more advanced.
Burk says several attendees took part in the entry level classes, which he says were helpful for some rural departments whose members don’t always have access to classes.
Burk polled attendees and most said they were happy with the class offerings and want the academy to return next year. He says officials expect the continued dry weather to pose a challenge for fire crews this year-and wildland fire training that was offered over the weekend should be helpful in the coming months.
There were a total of 18 classes that were to be offered during the academy. It was funded through a Department of Interior Ready Reserve Grant.
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