Firefighting boot camp for women happening in October

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The Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands will host a two-weekend wildland firefighting training in October for career-focused women looking to pursue future employment opportunities with the U.S. Forest Service.

Fire managers are seeking a small group of women for on-call, seasonal positions as wildland firefighters for the 2018 fire season, according to a press release from the Forest Service. Approximately 30 applicants will be selected. The deadline for applications is Oct. 6 at 4:30 p.m. Selections will be made and notified by Oct. 11. 

The Women in Wildland Fire Boot Camp is a comprehensive firefighter training and orientation in the 1.6 million-acre forest. The boot camp takes place Oct. 21-22 and Oct. 28-29 at the Magdalena Fire Center, located just outside of Magdalena. Attendance both weekends is required, as well as the prework available from the Forest Service.

The work of a wildland firefighter "can be physically demanding and very rewarding," the application for the training reads, noting some workdays are 16 hours long and require hiking, carrying heavy equipment, working near heavy machinery and using hand tools.

"You will learn basics about physical fitness, dietary needs, basic outdoor camping and field skills, along with firefighter training. All you need is a pillow, sleeping bag, and willingness to learn," it reads.

People who successfully complete the training will be prepared for the work capacity test, a requirement to qualify as a wildland firefighter in accordance with the National Wildfire Coordinating Group red card qualification standards.

Although the training focuses on women in wildland fire, all interested parties are encouraged and invited to attend. No previous experience is required. Information and the application are available on the Cibola National Forest website at fs.usda.gov/cibola.  

For questions, contact the Magdalena Ranger District at (575) 854-2281 or Britton Quinlan at bquinlan02@fs.fed.us.

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