Oct. 11, 2017 — BASTROP, Texas — Over 315 students from 13 states are expected to attend the 20th annual Capital Area Interagency Wildfire and Incident Management Academy that will be held from Oct. 13-25 at the Camp Swift National Guard Facility located north of Bastrop.

    The academy utilizes National Wildfire Coordinating Group standards to enhance wildland firefighters’ knowledge while promoting safe and cost effective operations. Classes cover topics including improving leadership skills, fire suppression tactics, wildland fire behavior, heavy equipment operations and tactical and logistical uses of helicopters.

     “The Capital Area Interagency Wildfire and Incident Management Academy at Camp Swift offers a lot of training in fire and emergency management, having courses that will benefit both new and experienced firefighters,” said Texas A&M Forest Service Chief Response Training Coordinator Michael Gessling.

    Qualifying fire departments may be awarded up to $12,000 of tuition assistance through the Texas A&M Forest Service Rural Volunteer Fire Department Assistance Program and the Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System.

    “Training is an import part of being prepared for wildfires,” said Texas A&M Forest Service Fire Chief Mark Stanford. “We are glad to be able to work with all of the agencies involved, to help train wildland firefighters from around the country, right here in Texas.”

    The academy is a collaborative effort by Texas A&M Forest Service, Texas Army 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 about the 20th annual Capital Area Interagency Wildfire and Incident Management Academy, please visit the Texas Interagency Coordination Center website at




    Members of the media are invited to attend a memorial service for fallen wildland firefighters and academy mentors at 11 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 16. Business casual attire with closed toe shoes is required.

    Tours of the academy are available on Monday, Oct. 23, upon approval by the CAIWA Public Information Officer. Those wishing to participate are advised that field-working conditions apply to all visitors, including media. Long pants and sturdy hard-toe shoes are required clothing. Hard hats are provided on site.  Camp Swift is a military base and all media must RSVP.

    Kari Hines, Academy Public Information Officer,, 512-375-0354,

    Phillip Truitt, Communications, 979-458-6606