PHOTOS: Wildland firefighters train for the 2021 season | PostIndependent.com
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PHOTOS: Wildland firefighters train for the 2021 season

Trainees line up before heading into the brush while learning to build fire lines in the "Intro to Wildland Firefighting Training" course.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Last week the Upper Arkansas Valley Wildland Fire Foundation returned to New Castle for the first time since 2014 to host roughly 175 emergency responders during a week-long Colorado Wildland Fire & Incident Management Academy. The academy offered 15 in-person courses and exercises related to all-hazard incident management, wildland fire, and leadership. The nationally-recognized academy is one of the largest wildland fire and incident management training events in the United States. Class sizes and numbers were reduced this year to meet local COVID-19 public health guidelines.

Trainees and instructors head into the brush with hand tools while learning to build a fire line in field training up Divide Creek south of Silt.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
Trainees and instructors use hand tools to dig out branches, rocks and debris while building a fireline.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

The last time the academy was in New Castle was in 2014 for the 20- year anniversary of the South Canyon Fire which took the lives of 14 wildland firefighters on Storm King Mountain.

Trainees and instructors head into the brush with hand tools while learning to build a fire line in field training up Divide Creek south of Silt.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Twice a year the academy hosts several hundred emergency management personnel from around the nation and from abroad. In addition to courses, the academy also provides opportunities for students to train in specific job functions related to emergency response and the Incident Command System.



Trainees and instructors use hand tools to dig out branches, rocks and debris while building a fireline.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
A wildland firefighting instructor watches on as crews build a fireline through the brush.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
An instructor digs into the ground with a handtool while working with trainees in the "Intro to Wildland Firefighting Training" course up Divide Creek south of Silt last Friday.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Visual Journalist Chelsea Self can be reached at 970-384-9108 or cself@postindependent.com


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