Coal Ridge hosts state wildland firefighters |

Coal Ridge hosts state wildland firefighters

NEW CASTLE — More than 550 wildland firefighters are participating in the twice-yearly Colorado Wildland Fire & Incident Management Academy this week at Coal Ridge High School and the surrounding areas.

Special attention is also being given at the academy to the 20th anniversary on July 6 of the South Canyon (Storm King) Fire, with a tribute to the 14 firefighters who lost their lives in that event.

“The opportunity to bring a quality training venue to the area that experienced such a tragedy is both unique and rewarding,” James Krugman, academy incident commander, stated in a news release.

The academy meets twice a year, in January and June, according to Greg Heule, academy spokesman, and each year hosts several hundred emergency management personnel from around the nation, and some international students, according to the news release.

During the week, attendees will take part in a variety of trainings and exercises related to incident management, wildland fire and leadership. The academy also provides opportunities for students to train in specific job functions related to emergency response and operating within the incident command system.

Starting last year, the academy also began accepting donations to provide local firefighters with free tuition to attend classes. The CWFIMA is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization and was established in 1993. For more information about the academy or course offerings, visit

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