Forty wildland fire recruits spent the week of May 23 at College of Western Idaho (CWI) training and learning new skills to battle fires this summer. The Southwest Idaho Fire Training (SWIFT) program is a partnership between the National Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and the Idaho Department of Lands.
Students spent the first two days in the classroom learning the fundamentals of fighting wildland blazes. The classes were held in lecture halls featuring new technology to optimize the learning experience.
On Wednesday, May 25, the students completed five stations at the College’s Nampa Campus Academic Building to get hands-on experience with fire shelters, fire engines, and tools to quickly dig fire lines.
“I’ve been involved with fire training for 13 years, and it’s amazing watching people grow and learn and seeing them out on the fires during the summer. I love it,” said Chris Knight with the Forest Service, who helped run the training. “To this day I’ll see people who have moved up in the agency, and we still talk about fire school.”
The recruits trained in Idaho City on Thursday, May 26, and finished the week with more classroom instruction before joining their fire crews throughout the state for a busy summer.