Purdue prepares firefighters
The fall of 2017 was one of the worst wildfire seasons on record, with over 1.3 million acres burned in September alone. With fires burning across Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and California, thousands of firefighters were required to extinguish them. But to battle wildfires managed by the federal government and many states, firefighters require special Red Card certification. The Department of Forestry and Natural Resources (FNR) offers this National Wildfire Coordinating Group training course, taught by alumnus Stephen Creech (BS ’74, forestry). The certification can be especially valuable for undergraduates, who gain an edge in the job market when demand for wildland firefighters is high, Creech says. Many FNR students already participate in prescribed burns in Martell Forest, assisted by wildlife specialist Robert Chapman (BS ’96, wildlife management). The next Red Card course offered at Purdue begins in December.