An all-women fire crew is in Alaska to help battle the 200-plus fires burning throughout the state. The crew is a partnership between the Bureau of Land Management in Wyoming and the Montana Conservation Corps. They started a program to train women to fight fires back in 2016 and this is the first assignment for this year’s BLM Women's Fire Crew.
The eight women team will be in the Upper Yukon part of the state for the next two weeks to help fight the Hadweenzic River Fire. “To be able to come to Alaska for your first ever fire assignment is so incredible,” explains crew boss Shelby Descamps.
Any woman can apply to the crew and many who become recruits have experience in wildlife conservation, but limited fire training. The Women’s Fire Crew is only a year-long program, and participants often go on to join federal crews across the country. There are still a lot more men than women on federal fire crews, but this program is trying to change that.