Trainees in the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s Vale District firefighter school stay 6 feet apart during recent field exercises. The BLM separated recruits into cohorts this year with social distancing protocols in place due to COVID-19. (The Enterprise/Rachel Parsons)
Every year, the Vale District of the BLM holds firefighter training for seasonal hires who work on hand crews during wildfire season. Recruits come from all over the region and have wide-ranging backgrounds. Firefighters work as needed for up to six months.
In 2019, wildfires burned about 5,000 acres of land in the Vale District. That figure is about one-third of the acreage burned the previous year, or roughly 15,000 acres in 2018.
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