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Wildland Fire Class to be offered

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The Pike County Office of the Arkansas Forestry Commission will be holding an 8-hour Wildland Fire Class Monday, January 11 and Tuesday, January 12 at the Nathan Volunteer Fire Department from 6:30-10:30 p.m.
For more information on this class or to register, contact the Pike County Office at 870-285-3745.
The Arkansas Forestry Commission (AFC) Wildland Fire Class is offered to statewide fire departments as a wildland fire overview and safety training class, through the AFC Rural Fire Program. The Rural Fire Program was established in 1979 to organize, equip, and train volunteer fire departments. Wildland fire training is needed because it differs from the array of training class received over structural firefighting, which are also required of volunteer fire departments. Volunteer fire departments are the biggest partner in wildland fire suppression to AFC officials across the state.
How is wildland firefighting different from structural firefighting? Wildland fires are much more dependent upon weather factors (mainly humidity and wind), geography and terrain, and the wildland-urban interface, or forested spaces that meet developed areas including homes and outbuildings. Flames can jump quickly between structures and vegetation, and firefighters are trained in the AFC Wildland Fire Class on how to identify specific wildland fire hazards, concerns, tools needed, and lessons learned from past incidents.
The Wildland Fire Class also discusses common causes of Arkansas wildfires (arson and burning debris), protocols for the suppression of wildfires, as well as techniques used by AFC Rangers in suppressing wildfires by use of dozers and specialized wildland firefighting skills. Arkansas has over 19 million acres of forests – with that in mind, wildland firefighting and the unique training required for maximum safety and awareness will remain a top priority for AFC officials. In 2015, AFC officials suppressed 1,178 wildfires, which burned over 14,652 acres in Arkansas.

The Arkansas Fire Academy requires that all volunteer firefighters receive the 8-hour AFC Wildland Class. To request a class, firefighters should contact the AFC Rural Fire Program Headquarters office in Greenbrier at 501-679-4374 or travis.haile@arkansas.gov.
The mission of the Arkansas Forestry Commission is to protect Arkansas’s forests, and those who enjoy them, from wildland fire and natural hazards while promoting rural and urban forest health, stewardship, development, and conservation for all generations of Arkansans. Visit www.forestry.arkansas.gov to find out more about wildland firefighter training, the Rural Fire Program and firefighting equipment requests, AFC seedlings, wildfire danger, forest management plans, and more.

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