Forestry Commission conducts wildfire training

Published 3:00 pm Tuesday, May 2, 2023

The Mississippi Forestry Commission is conducting a week-long Heavy Equipment Academy. Nineteen students are participating — 15 are MFC employees and four are from the South Carolina, Alabama and Georgia Forestry Commissions.

The week-long class is aimed at training forest rangers and technicians to use heavy equipment to fight wildfires across the state.

“Training is a huge part of what we do at the Mississippi Forestry Commission,” said MFC state forester Russell Bozeman. “Responding to wildfires is dangerous, and the Heavy Equipment Academy gives our employees the real-world training they need to safely and effectively suppress wildfires in the state.”

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During HEA, students participate in two days of classroom instruction, followed by three days of fieldwork at the MFC HEA training site in Raymond. Students learn how to properly plow a firelane with a bulldozer, use a dozer to shape slopes, and properly “recover” a bulldozer that gets bogged down in the mud.

“This real-world training gives employees the experience and confidence they need to perform their wildlife suppression duties when called upon,” Bozeman said.