BROWNWOOD – Emergency responders are invited to hone their wildland firefighting skills at the 12th annual Central Texas Wildfire Academy, set for Feb. 14-18.

The academy in Brownwood, Texas, features wildland firefighting training for paid and volunteer departments and courses on safety and fire operations in the wildland urban interface. Courses were customized to meet the needs of the fire departments in the area.

A prescribed burn field exercise – allowing students to actually work on a fire – will be held on Monday, Feb. 18, if weather permits.

“The key to ensuring that responders are safe when they’re out on the fire line is making sure they are properly trained and have the tools they need to protect themselves,” said Texas A&M Forest Service Wildland Urban Interface Specialist Joe Kozlowski. “Only then can they do the best and most efficient job of protecting homes and property.”

The cost to attend the academy is $60, payable through a voucher system with the Rural Volunteer Fire Department Assistance Program, a grant program funded by the state and administered by Texas A&M Forest Service. Breakfast and lunch are served for a combined $15 per day. Free lodging in barracks is available on site at Camp Bowie in Brownwood.

For more information or to register, go to the Texas Interagency Coordinating Center training page or contact the academy registrar at or 979-458-7330. Registration closes on Feb. 10.

Members of the media are encouraged to visit and are welcome any day of the academy. To arrange a media tour, contact Kozlowski at (936) 827-2094 or Public Information Officer Jan Amen at (936) 546-1004.

The Central Texas Wildfire Academy is sponsored by Texas A&M Forest Service, Texas Army National Guard and Dam Volunteer Fire Department.