Alaska BLM Fire Service seeking to add village-based wildland firefighter crews

The Bureau of Land Management is now conducting a point prescribed fire in the Raft River Valley.
The Bureau of Land Management hopes to add village-based firefighting crews.(KMVT/KSVT Jake Manuel Brasil)
Published: Feb. 18, 2021 at 4:16 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The Alaska Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is seeking to add village-based Type 2 contract firefighting crews in Western Alaska.

According to a press release from the BLM, contract proposals for the crews will be sought for the 2021 fire season by about March 26, 2021.

Multiple contractors may be selected to base crews in communities in the Galena Fire Management Zone, covering much of Western Alaska for quick response to fires. The official solicitation notice is expected to post at around Feb. 25 and give potential contractors 30 days to submit proposals, according to the press release.

Last year, the BLM Alaska Fire Service (AFS) awarded three contracts for Type 2 crews based in the Upper Yukon and Tanana Fire Management Zones to allow for quick response to fires in the BLM AFS protection areas covering the northern half of Alaska.

According to the press release, the contract crew concept intends to meet the need for Type 2 wildland firefighting crews in Alaska and the Lower 48 in response to the changing complexity of managing federal emergency firefighter (EFF) crews, which are hired only as needed. Unlike EFF crews, contracted crews can work outside of fire suppression, including the tasks of fuels mitigation and other funded projects. Contract crews may also provide more stable employment than the current EFF program, as well as additional opportunities for Alaska Native corporations and Alaska tribes to manage their own wildland fire crew program and play a larger role in wildland firefighting in Alaska and the Lower 48.

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