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Firefighters to train next week at Camp Ripley

More than 100 young students from diverse backgrounds will be trained as a gateway to future fire career development. Coursework includes basics of wildland firefighting, field exercises, water handling, pump operations and key aspects of fire weather, fire suppression and fire behavior. Like this fire in a logged pine forest near Oylen May 4, 2016. Brainerd Dispatch File Photo/ Steve Kohls

The first statewide Conservation Corps Minnesota Academy to train future wildland firefighters will be Monday through March 18 at Camp Ripley.

More than 100 young students from diverse backgrounds will be trained as a gateway to future fire career development. Coursework includes basics of wildland firefighting, field exercises, water handling, pump operations and key aspects of fire weather, fire suppression and fire behavior.

"This is a good partnership," said lead instructor Tom Lynch, Minnesota DNR, in a news release. "CCM helps us with fire suppression throughout the state especially during peak fire season."

In 2016, the Minnesota Interagency Fire Center in Grand Rapids mobilized 15 CCM crews who assisted in wildland fire incidents. Last year, there were 1,423 fires that burned a total of 12,588 acres in Minnesota. The mission of the Minnesota Incident Command System is to coordinate, educate and implement the incident command system to support fire and all risk incidents in Minnesota and nationwide.

The Minnesota Incident Command System is a state and federal interagency group that cooperate to manage wildfire and all risk incidents and provide standard procedures, practices and information to facilitate, coordinate and support actions on incidents in Minnesota. The organization is governed by a Task Force of agency leads.

Member agencies: U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, and the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Management. Visit www.mnics.org for more information.