Fire "fighters" are not necessarily the best people to manage fire. Foresters, Range Conservationists, Ecologists, and other natural resource managers should take a more prominent role in managing the primary ecological disturbance agent in north american terrestrial ecosystems.
Make fire management more accessible to professional natural resource managers and new college grads. The Incident Qualifications and Certification System is geared towards manual laborers who may or may not possess the analytical and critical thinking capacity that higher education develops. It doesn't take twenty years of ground-pounding to analyze fire behavior, predict fire effects, and assess ecological outcomes; it takes a moderate amount of wildland fire and prescribed burning experience and the intellectual capacity that higher education hopefully provides.
Develop pathways for natural resource professionals, new or old, to acquire the more advanced wildland fire qualifications without having to start as a FFT2 and prove that they can "assemble their kit".
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