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South Dakota Field Office
Release Date: 04/22/13
Contacts: Mark Jacobsen    
  (406) 233-2831    
News Release No. 130422A

First annual South Dakota Wildfire Academy successful

BELLE FOURCHE, S.D. --- At the end of March, multiple agencies combined their efforts to host the first annual Wildland Fire Academy in Fort Pierre.  The main focus of the academy was to provide South Dakota volunteer fire departments an opportunity to take wildland fire classes needed for advancement in incident management qualifications.

The partnership effort included the South Dakota Department of Agriculture Division of Wildland Fire in conjunction with the Bureau of Land Management South Dakota Field Office, the Black Hills National Forest, the Nebraska National Forest, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services and the South Dakota State Fire Marshalls Office.

Nearly 20 beginning level classes were offered, ranging from “Introduction to Wildland Firefighting” to “Single Resource Boss.”  National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) certificates were issued to 399 students representing almost 50 federal, state and local agencies. The NWCG is an operational group designed to coordinate programs of participating wildfire management agencies.

The academy was largely funded by U.S. Department of Interior Ready Reserve funds, facilitated by the South Dakota Division of Wildland Fire. 

This year’s academy was deemed a success by cadre and students alike and the 2nd Annual Wildland Fire Academy is already being planned for next year.

Further questions may be directed to BLM South Dakota Field Office Fire Management Specialist Travis Lipp at 605-892-7000.

More info on the NWCG can be found on their website at:

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The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

South Dakota Field Office   310 Roundup Street      Belle Fourche, SD 57717  

Last updated: 04-22-2013