Third Annual Wildland Fire Academy to Train More Than 350 Firefighters in Deer Park
News Date: 
June 14, 2018
   

More than 350 firefighters will train in basic and advanced wildland firefighting skills at the 10-day Eastern Washington Interagency Wildfire Training Academy (EWIFTA). This academy is part of a multi-agency coordinated effort that provides the opportunity to train together and develop vital communications skills in preparation for wildland fires this season.
 
Media outlets are invited to receive a firsthand look at firefighters training to fight wildland fires June 16-23. The general public is also invited to two Open Houses. See media and Open House schedule below.
 
Patterned after previous years’ resounding success, a fully operational fire camp will be set for the third year at Deer Park High School to help prepare firefighters for the living conditions they can expect during an actual wildland fire operation. The training will be a one-stop shop for beginners, intermediate, and advanced firefighters. This academy is an interagency effort between the Washington State Department of Natural Resources and local, tribal, and federal agencies. Instructors are all highly qualified with extensive firefighting experience. They use dynamic instruction techniques including classroom, simulations, leadership scenarios and outside field exercises.
 
Bill Neckels, Deputy Chief at Spokane Fire County District 4 and one of the Incident Commanders of the event, says, “summers are getting hotter and lasting longer. These interagency collaborations help firefighters receive important training, as well as provide agencies with the opportunity to practice working together before an incident and develop relationships critical to future emergency response operations.” He also confirms that the agencies have a plan in place to support emergency response to local incidents while the training is occurring.
 
The agencies are grateful to the town of Deer Park and Deer Park High School for hosting this event. Students, instructors, and Incident Command staff feel welcomed and appreciate the opportunity to visit businesses in the area.
 

MEDIA OPPORTUNITIES

Media are invited to visit any day to observe training activities. Please check in with Public Information staff upon arrival.
 
Media Opportunity - Field Exercise with Simulated Fire
 
What: Field Day exercise on June 23 will be the best day for photo and interview opportunities with firefighters operating chainsaws, digging effective firelines, using hoses, learning wildfire behavior, operating proper use of wildfire equipment, etc.
 
When:  Friday, June 23, 2018  -  10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
 

PUBLIC OPEN HOUSE

 
Open to the Public - Fire Camp
 
What: Meet Smokey Bear, visit a fire truck, try on wildland firefighting clothing, talk with firefighters, climb into a fire shelter, and learn campfire safety. Prizes!
 
When: Sunday, June 17, 2018  -  11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
 
When: Thursday, June 21, 2018  -  10 a.m. to noon
 
Where: Deer Park High School, 800 S. Weber Street, Deer Park, WA
 
 
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MEDIA CONTACTS
Guy Gifford
Public Information Officer
509-990-6218
guy.gifford@dnr.wa.gov
 
Captain Megan Hill
Public Information Officer
Spokane County Fire District 4
509-939-5216