WVCO seeks comments on new wildland fire program

— An open forum to discuss the Wenatchee Valley College at Omak wildland fire program will be Dec. 2.

The public is invited to the event, set for 9 a.m. to noon in Room 401/402 of Hazel Allen Burnett Hall on the Omak campus, 116 W. Apple Ave., said college officials.

Those attending will be asked to share their ideas about program development, including what wildland fire education should cover and what training needs exist in the community. The program may include professional wildland training for firefighters, community education seminars and college-level wildland fire courses.

Officials said the need for a wildland fire program was identified following the historic 2014 and 2015 fire seasons in Washington. State Rep. Joel Kretz, R-Wauconda was instrumental in securing funding for a new program at WVC.

The program is being developed with the support of advisory committee members, including representatives from Okanogan County Fire District No. 6, Omak and Okanogan fire departments, the state Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Forest Service, Pateros Mayor Carlene Anders, Washington Prescribed Fire Council and the Okanogan Conservation District.

Light refreshments will be provided. Those attending can visit the campus and meet the lead faculty members.

Those planning to attend are asked to RSVP by contacting Wildland Fire Instructor Marshall Brown, mbrown@wvc.edu or 509-422-7806.


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