Fire District Sending Third Group of Wildland Firefighters to Montana. Asst. Chief Ken Hines - Monday, September 08, 2003
The Boone County Fire District has been asked to send two wildland firefighters with a Missouri Department of Conservation handcrew to the State of Montana. This third Boone County Fire District squad will depart Columbia on Monday, September 8th at 11am from the Fire District Headquarters located at 2201 I-70 Drive NW in Columbia. This is the 13th crew that the Missouri Department of Conversation has deployed this summer fire season. The final destination and forest fire for our crew has not been determined. This will be a minimum two-week deployment.
Six firefighters from Boone County Fire District who deployed on August 22ndth returned to Columbia late Sunday night, September 7th after 17 days fighting fires at the Blackfoot Lake Complex in the Flathead National Forest area of northwest Montana. This crew undertook the dangerous and difficult work on the fire line digging firebreaks and taking down burned and burning trees and brush. The Fire District has been involved in the U.S. Forest Service wildland fire program since 1988, sending firefighters or fire engines to the western United States nearly every year since then.
National Wildland Fire Program
Since 1988, the Boone County Fire District has operated and supported an out-of-state wildland fire crew for national deployment to major forest fires throughout the country. Participants on this fire crew volunteer their time for this program and are trained and certified to U.S. Forest Service standards. Once deployed, firefighters are placed on the federal payroll and are paid directly by the U.S. Forest Service while on assignment. The Fire District continues to be the only fire department in Missouri that is a cooperating organization to the Missouri Department of Conservation and the U.S. Forest Service in the out-of-state program.
Some wildland fires are amazing to see develop and spread.
Our Wildland Fire Crews return year after year to get a chance to go west to fight fires.
This unique program has provided the Fire District with several advantages. First, it has allowed our personnel to expand their experiences and involvement beyond Boone County. Boone Countys volunteers are incredibly enthusiastic and truly enjoy any opportunity that allows them increased opportunities such as this. The program also allows the Fire District to gain experience and knowledge in the western wildland fire environment that is easily transferable for application here in Boone County. The Fire Districts formal involvement in the program also makes federal training much more readily available to our personnel.
Who Can Participate
As is evident from the information provided in Training and Deployments, a great deal of training and preparation is required to participate in the Fire Districts out-of-state program. Additionally, participants must be in a position to leave their families, jobs and school for in excess of two weeks with very little advance notice.
The chance for a break from wildland firefighting gives firefighters opportunity to rest.
Historically, participants in the Fire District program have come from within the Boone County Fire District. Recently, the Fire District has allowed firefighters from other area fire departments, having obtained their qualifications, to participate, as well. This must be pre-arranged prior to the fire season each summer. Firefighters interested in this program should refer to the Join Our Team page and complete the application process.
The Fire District also recognizes that there are, from time to time, people living within our community with prior experience and have previously been qualified to work within the federal wildland fire system. Those with previous qualification and experience should feel free to contact the Fire District, should they be interested in participating.
®2013 Boone County Fire Protection District, Columbia, Missouri