Southeast Idaho BLM firefighters assist crews across the nation

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — Southeast Idaho firefighters are making an impact across the United States in Idaho’s off-season.

In addition to helping fight fires and perserve public lands in the Gem states, Idaho Bureau of Land Management firefighters have spent countless hours helping other agencies across the country.

“Our firefighters are available nationally, year round” Kelsey Griffee, fire information officer for the Eastern Idaho division of the Bureau of Land Management told KID Newsradio. “That all depends on how active we are here, but if we’re not active here like this time of year…we allow our engines, our dozers, our dispatch personel to be available to help with any incidents nationally.”

Idaho BLM fire crew members have most recently dispatched to four states: California, Virginia, North Carolina and Nevada.

Engine crews dispathed to help with the Thomas Fire in California which ultimately claimed over 280,000 acres. But, Idaho fire crews don’t just help by responding to wildfires or emergencies, they also go help with controlled burns and helping people recover after natural disasters.

Photo Courtesy: Bureau of Land Management via Austin Catlin

“We’re very proud to have our firefighters out helping communities across the nation,” Griffee said. “Helping with California fires, helping rehab in Nevada, assisting with the Small Business Administration, these are all things that our, you know, employees, it’s part of why they got into this career, that they want to help people and protect public lands and assist those both in their local and national community.”

 

Griffee says the agency is hiring for it’s 2018 fire season and will accept applications until January 30.

“You have this opportunity to work across the nation,” Griffee said. “Even if you work in your local community that you grew up in, you’re available to help go fight fire in California, you could go help with prescribed fires in North Carolina, it’s a dynamic job, very exciting and tests you physically and mentally.”