October 7, 2016—BASTROP, Texas—Firefighters from across the country will travel to Camp Swift to attend one of the country’s premiere interagency wildfire academies.

    The 19th annual Capital Area Interagency Wildfire and Incident Management Academy, fondly known as the Bastrop Academy, will take place Oct.13-26 at the Camp Swift National Guard Facility in Bastrop, Texas. This year, more than 400 students from 12 states are expected to attend.

    Managed as an actual wildfire incident, the academy is operated using the Incident Command System with the mission of enhancing the wildland firefighters’ knowledge and practice safe and cost-effective operations.

     “At the academy, firefighters are offered NWCG [National Wildfire Coordinating Group] classes ranging from basic to advanced firefighting, including leadership and business management,” said Academy Public Information Officer Kristen Newman. “These classes offer fundamental training for firefighters to progress in the wildland field.”

    Tuition assistance is available to qualified volunteer and career fire departments through the Rural Volunteer Fire Department Assistance Program (HB 2604) and TIFMAS grant programs. Applications for training tuition assistance must be submitted to the Texas A&M Forest Service before the course start date.

    “Training is considered a top priority for many fire departments,” said Jason Keiningham, Texas A&M Forest Service capacity building department head. “As an agency, we are honored to help fire departments reach their training goals through use of our training tuition grants.”

    The Academy is coordinated and supported by Texas A&M Forest Service, Texas National Guard, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Weather Service, The Nature Conservancy and Texas Wildfire Association.

    For more information on the academy, visit the Texas Interagency Coordination Center training page at ticc.tamu.edu.



    Kari Hines, Academy Public Information Officer
    512-375-0354, khines@tfs.tamu.edu

    Texas A&M Forest Service Communications
    979-458-6606, newsmedia@tfs.tamu.edu