Story and photos by Samantha Storms, Public Information Officer, Alaska Fire Service.
With more than 200 fires burning in mid-July in Alaska, the 2019 BLM Women’s Fire Crew received their first ever wildland fire assignment.
Traveling by plane, helicopter and boat, this eight woman crew headed to the Hadweenzic River Fire in the Upper Yukon of eastern Alaska with eager smiles.
BLM Wyoming and the Montana Conservation Corps, or MCC, started this crew in 2016, training women to be wildland firefighters. This program is a wonderful opportunity to introduce these young women to the world of wildland firefighting.
Looking back at the 2018 season, 11 of 12 crew members are still working in wildland fire jobs and the other started her career working for MCC. Through this partnership, all crew members are qualified chainsaw operators and when they are not on the fireline, they are working with BLM Wyoming on public lands restoration projects.
Below is a video featuring the 2017 BLM Women’s Fire crew at the Orleans Complex of fires on the Six Rivers National Forest in California. Video by Eric Coulter, BLM.
Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Rick Freimuth. Typos or errors, report them HERE.