WVU Division of Forestry and Natural Resources Hosts Mid-Atlanti - WBOY - Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

WVU Division of Forestry and Natural Resources Hosts Mid-Atlantic Wildfire Training Academy

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More than 150 firefighters from 10 different states are in Morgantown this week. Each one is learning new techniques and wild land fire fighting skills.

The Wildlife Academy offers a number of courses in essential firefighting skills. Including a course about investigation.

"I'm a fire forester in Raleigh County, West Virginia," said Mark Hudnall, with the West Virginia Division of Forestry. "And this is just to help me determine cause and origin of fires and get the investigation going."

While Hudnall's job is to find where the fire started, Charlie Carlson is here to learn how to better find who started the fire. Carlson said West Virginia is a great atmosphere for the training.

"It's a nice location for it. I think the training will help because of the environment we're in, with the mountains and trees and what not for this class," said Carlson, from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources,. "It's also a prerequisite for the advanced class that will be offered later on."

John Bird was there as an instructor for the "Fire Origin of Cause Determination" course.

"I hope they take the information that we're teaching them and utilize that to the origin of cause at their home agency," Bird said. "To do a more accurate origin of cause for better cost collection for the retention of money spent to put out the fires, and to also apprehend and prosecute those responsible."

The people attending the Training Academy aren't just there for investigation courses.

"A lot of the guys are wild land firefighters already that are looking to get some greater training to maybe move up to another objective that they might have," said Mike Vanderberg, the Director of the event. "We have some volunteer fire fighters here that are here to get more training so that they can get on a wild land firefighting crew."

"I just hope to be able to identify my origins a little more quickly that way we can keep them more pristine without messing them up," said Hudnall. "So that when we do have our investigators come in, or our blood hounds, we can keep the origin secure."

Firefighters will also do field training through out the course of the week.

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