GreenCorps: Life on the Umatilla National Forest

by | VetsWork Fire

While making the decision to come out here for this program, one of the things I was looking forward to most, was getting out of my old routines and beginning a new job in a new location. The daily routine here starts early. We typically begin our days with physical training and exercise. The physical training varies from day to day. Sometimes we might play ultimate Frisbee while other times we might do a hike with all our wildland firefighting gear. From there we carry on with the plan for the day, which either involves thinning trees or other types of training. Some tips to staying positive are to keep the end game in mind and focus on the job.

The Umatilla National Forest is a great place to spend time. The landscape is beautiful and Frazier bunkhouse is a special place in its own. The locals appreciate our efforts out here. We spend a great deal of time thinning trees in order to reduce fire fuels, which requires a lot of work. So far my favorite part of the term has been fire school. We essentially got to apply what we had learned and conducted a practice fire scenario, which was pretty fun. One of the best things about this program is the qualifications that you receive. Thus far I have gotten certifications such as: CPR/First Aid, chainsaw qualifications, and portable pumps. My time out here has been pretty awesome and for anyone looking to get into this line of work, I would highly recommended looking into this program.