BLM partners with Nevada high school to teach fire science


Bureau of Land Management

Media Contact:

Jen Diamond

RENO, Nevada – As the threat of wildfire increases every year, so does the increased demand for trained wildland firefighters. A new partnership with the Academy of Arts Career and Technology High School in Reno, NV kicks off this week to deliver the newly developed Fire Science Career and Technical Education (CTE) program. The Bureau of Land Management, Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District (TMFPD), and University of Nevada, Reno Extension- Living with Fire (LWF) have joined together to implement this new curriculum. 

"We're proud to collaborate with LWF, AACT, and TMFPD, in shaping the next generation of Wildland firefighters, equipping students with hands-on experience to protect our communities and natural landscapes," said Brock Uhlig, State Fire Management Officer, BLM Nevada. 

"Together, we're igniting a passion for responsible fire management and cultivating a future of skilled professionals dedicated to preserving our environment. Empowering the next generation of stewards is not just a duty—it's a shared responsibility to nurture and protect our public lands," said Uhlig. 

The Fire Science Academy program is the first of its kind in the Washoe County School District. Last fall sophomores enrolled in the five-semester program, and upon graduation in spring 2026, at age 18 they will be eligible to be hired onto wildland fire crews with the BLM.

“Fire Science is quickly becoming one of the more popular Academies at AACT," said AACT principal Mike Gifford.  

"With its hands-on and engaging lessons led by real firefighters with BLM and TMFPD, our students are gaining knowledge in understanding how fires work, how our community can prepare and protect itself from fires, and the ins and outs of fighting fire as a profession.  We are extremely excited about our partnership with both TMFPD and BLM and the amount of freshmen applications for Fire Science shows our community is excited as well,” said Gifford.

“The Fire Science Academy program at AACT is a great example of how CTE courses can prepare students for in-demand jobs right out of high school through engaging coursework," said Spencer Eusden, Curriculum Developer for the University of Nevada, Reno Extension

"This past semester, students gained experience donning firefighter PPE and putting out fires, albeit small ones, behind their school.” 

Students will also earn college credits through a partnership with Truckee Meadows Community College. Classes taught by BLM wildland firefighters, will kick off this week.  

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.