SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

State forestry offering virtual wildland firefighting class in February


January 12, 2022
Wednesday PM

(SitNews) Fairbanks, Alaska - Alaskans looking to start a career in wildland firefighting don’t have to wait until spring to take a class that will qualify them to work this summer.

The Alaska Division of Forestry is piloting a new basic wildland firefighting (Red Card) class to be held Feb. 14-25. The course will be offered statewide through the online Navigate platform and features both virtual and in-person components. Students need access to a computer with a webcam and microphone, as well as high-speed internet.

The registration deadline for the class is Feb. 8, 2022. Students can register here. Cost is $55 with purchase of an e-book or $73 for a paperback book. Students may apply for financial assistance if they cannot afford the class. 

The class includes an in-person field day at a local Area office later this spring. Students can schedule a date and location for their field day and fitness test when they register. Students must participate in the field day and pass a fitness test to complete the class. Upon completion of the class, field day and fitness test, students will be eligible to receive a Red Card to work on a crew or in other wildland firefighting support positions. 

The virtual component of the class will take approximately 30 hours with a daily time commitment of 2-3 hours for self-study. The class will feature daily Zoom meetings, quizzes and a final exam that students must achieve a minimum score of 70 percent. Instructors will be available via email or phone to answer questions as they come up. 

“Offering this Red Card class virtually in the winter provides rookie firefighters another option and will help better prepare them for work on a crew this coming summer,” DOF Wildland Fire & Aviation Chief Norm McDonald said. “It will also help alleviate some of the training pressure our local Area offices face each spring for Red Card classes.”

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Edited By: Mary Kauffman, SitNews

Source of News:

Alaska Dept of Natural Resources

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