PLACERVILLE, Calif. April 15, 2019 – Organized by the Work for Warriors program, a 40 hour basic Firefighting course is being taught April 15 -19, 2019 by U.S. Forest Service Fire staff at the Work for Warriors facility in Sacramento. The Eldorado National Forest has collaborated with the Work for Warriors staff since 2015 to coordinate and build a basic firefighting program that trains our veterans in wildland firefighting. Work for Warriors (WFW) is a state and federally funded free job placement program in California. The intent of the Work for Warriors program is aimed at assisting post 9/11 Veterans, active National Guard, active Reserve members, Spouses, and Gold Star Families in finding civilian employment in their region of California. This program has been instrumental in helping veterans obtain jobs with the U.S. Forest Service on the Eldorado, Tahoe, and Plumas National Forests as wildland firefighters.
Students learn the basic concepts of wildland fire, topography, fuels, weather, safety, the Incident Command System, and suppression techniques in the classroom. Students are also in the field for a full day on the Tahoe National Forest working with the tools and techniques for fighting wildland fire.
Tonya Blasingame from the Eldorado National Forest and Jecobie Waters from the Tahoe National Forest have been the main Forest Service coordinators to build this program over the last 5 years. This program helps our veterans to transition back into civilian careers as civil servants in the wildland firefighting community. Because of their previous federal service they are able to move into the Forest Service relatively easily.