2021 Mid-Atlantic Wildfire Training Academy

Garrett College was proud to host the 2021 Mid-Atlantic Wildfire Training Academy, located in Western Maryland, with trainings held on campus and virtually!

Due to COVID-19, students registering for on-site training are required to remain on campus for the duration of his/her course(s). Course fees include a lodging and meal package based on the duration of the course (s).

For more information contact: chantel.lowdermilk@garrettcollege.edu /  301-387-3771

To register go to: https://www.garrettcollege.edu/fire-academy.php

Important Deadlines

  • Last Day to Register: April 29, 2021

To view this year’s selection of Academy offerings, Course Descriptions | Course Matrix (xls)

Registration Options

Compact Members: The Mid-Atlantic Fire Compact is comprised of seven state and associate partners from the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service and Fish and Wildlife Service. The seven states in the compact are Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland. Compact Members are state employees (or are affiliated with one of these seven states listed) who have been selected to participate in training by their state fire supervisor. All authorized compact members will receive a code from their state fire supervisor to use at registration.

Non-Compact: Non-Compact members are often volunteers or working with local, state, or federal organizations/agencies outside of the state forestry organizations within the Compact. Federal employees are not considered a part of the Compact unless they are instructing for the Academy. In this case, Instructors should receive a code and register using the Instructor option.

Instructors: All instructors should receive a code from the Compact and register using Instructor option.


 I am a Compact Member:
I have a code and need to register 
I am an Instructor/Staff:
I have a code and need to register

Smokey Bear 75th Birthday Edition of “Highlights”

Mid-Atlantic Compact Sparks Special 75th Commemorative Edition

With funding from the USDA Forest Service and more than 20 state forestry agencies, a 16-page Smokey Bear booklet developed by Mid-Atlantic Fire Compact was delivered to nearly a million Highlights Magazine subscribers in April.

WASHINGTON—In celebration of Smokey Bear’s 75th birthday and his iconic wildfire prevention message, nearly every Highlights subscriber in the United States and Canada received a 16-page Smokey Bear activity booklet with their April magazine.

“Thanks to a generous grant from the USDA Forest Service, contributions from individual state forestry agencies, and the hard work of the Mid-Atlantic Fire Compact, thousands of young people across North America can join in on our year-long celebration of Smokey’s 75th birthday,” said Lisa Allen, NASF president and Missouri state forester.

“Smokey’s timeless message: ‘Only You Can Prevent Wildfires’—is recognized by 8 out of 10 Americans, but his work to prevent wildfires is far from over. With this activity book, we’ll be reaching young children and educators—some of the most important audiences when it comes to successful wildfire prevention campaigns—with Smokey’s fire safety tips.”

“Highlights Magazine enables us to expand our reach to young children about the importance of caring for their public lands, including national forests and grasslands. What better way to celebrate Smokey Bear’s 75th than to reach children who in the very near future will become stewards of those lands.”

USDA Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen

Since 1944, Smokey Bear has taught millions of Americans about their role in preventing wildfires. Seventy-five years later, in 2019, Smokey is celebrating a milestone birthday. Will you join us in honoring Smokey Bear and this timeless message of wildfire prevention throughout 2019? You can celebrate Smokey Bear’s legacy at an event near you!

Visit SmokeyBear75th.org to explore an interactive event map.

Mid-Atlantic Fire Compact awarded “Gold Smokey”

Gold Smokey Award 2018

The Mid-Atlantic Fire Compact was awarded the Gold Smokey for its forest fire prevention and education efforts.

The 2018 Gold Smokey Award has been awarded to the Mid-Atlantic Interstate Forest Fire Protection Compact and its fire prevention and education committee. The compact is comprised of seven states including New Jersey, Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and West Virginia.

The group gets together once or twice a year to create prototypes that help with forest fire prevention education. The group has created bandannas, large Smokey Prevention Plinko Games for events, large puzzles for children to use at events, compiled a three-DVD set of old Smokey Bear videos, songs and artwork and large fire danger signs with Smokey Bear. The group coordinated an international multi-compact workshop in Mystic, Conn., as well.

Smokey Bear turns 75 next year and the compact also created a special 16-page supplement for the Highlights children’s magazine that will deliver early in 2019 and will be delivered in each subscription of the magazine in the seven states, and an additional printing of 168,000 copes for standalone use. Fred X. Turck of Virginia, who has already won a Gold Smokey for his outstanding work in fire prevention education, noted that each item takes about a year to move from concept to production.

Delaware state forester Michael A. Valenti joined education specialist Ashley Melvin at the Gold Smokey Award presentation at Ohio’s Wayne National Forest. Delaware is one of the seven states that comprise the Mid Atlantic Fire Compact.

Over 180 students attend 2018 Wildfire Academy

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McHenry, Maryland — The eleventh Mid-Atlantic Wildfire Training Academy came to a close on June 8 with over 180 students participating. The academy offered 14 classes this year that are essential to wildland firefighting, including fire behavior, equipment use, and leadership development. These classes met National Wildfire Coordinating Group standards, and participants received a certificate upon completion.

In addition to classroom hours, students had the opportunity to be in the field for skills practice. These field exercises are critical for developing and reinforcing the skills that firefighters will use at wildfire incidents.

The 2018 Mid-Atlantic Wildfire Training Academy is presented by the Mid-Atlantic Forest Fire Compact, Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Forest Service.

Seven states make up the Mid-Atlantic Forest Fire Compact: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia. Compact members promote effective fire prevention and the control of wildfires in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Mid-Atlantic Fire Academy Field Training

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McHenry, Maryland — Students attending the eleventh annual Mid-Atlantic Wildfire Training Academy at Garrett College took part in field training exercises this week.  The L-280 “Followership to Leadership” course put students through their paces at the Garrett College Challenge Course.  Field group exercises included the “Whale Watch”, the “Australian Trolley”, and the “Coal Miners Maze”.  These exercises emphasize leadership skills critical for working with others in a high stress environment, such as a wildfire incident.  Students also practiced establishing a water supply and constructing a hose lay, simulating those skills used at wildfire incidents.

The Mid-Atlantic Wildfire Training Academy is presented by the Mid-Atlantic Forest Fire Compact, Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Forest Service.

Seven states make up the Mid-Atlantic Forest Fire Compact: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia. Compact members promote effective fire prevention and the control of wildfires in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Funds raised for Wildland Firefighter Foundation

Photo by Peggy Miller

McHenry, Maryland — Students attending the eleventh annual Mid-Atlantic Wildfire Training Academy at Garrett College took a break from their studies last evening for a barbecue dinner, hosted by the Academy.  

At the academy-wide dinner, students, instructors and staff bid on donated items at the silent and live auctions and purchased raffle tickets.  The funds collected totaled over $3,000, which will be sent to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation.  The Wildland Firefighter Foundation supports families with immediate financial needs after a firefighter fatality or injury.  The Foundation can fly family members to the bedside of the injured, who are often states away from where they live.  The Foundation also offers long term grief recovery for those families.

Mr. John Berst was recognized for his continued support as the Mid-Atlantic Forest Fire Compact Coordinator.

​​The 2018 Mid-Atlantic Wildfire Training Academy is presented by the Mid-Atlantic Forest Fire Compact, Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Forest Serviceand concludes on Friday, June 8th.

Seven states make up the Mid-Atlantic Forest Fire Compact: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia. Compact members promote effective fire prevention and the control of wildfires in the Mid-Atlantic region.

2018 Wildfire Training Academy at Garrett College

McHenry, Maryland — Garrett College hosted the eleventh annual Mid-Atlantic Wildfire Training Academy June 4 through June 9. The academy is presented by the Mid-Atlantic Forest Fire Compact, Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Forest Service.

The academy offered14 classes this year that are essential to wildland firefighting, including fire behavior, equipment use, and leadership development. These classes meet National Wildfire Coordinating Group standards, and participants receive a certificate upon completion.

Over 180 students are attending this year’s academy, according to Julie Yoder, Dean of Continuing Education and Workforce Development at Garrett College. Most participants are from local, state and Federal agencies that are members of the Mid-Atlantic Forest Fire Compact.

Seven states make up the Mid-Atlantic Forest Fire Compact: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia. Compact members promote effective fire prevention and the control of wildfires in the Mid-Atlantic region. Collectively, these States are responsible for protecting more than 35 million acres of woodland. As drought conditions continue to plague the western United States, and a very active fire season is anticipated, compact members will be ready to assist there as needed.

The compact reduces wildfire suppression costs for local, state, and Federal jurisdictions by allowing states to share personnel and equipment. The compact also minimizes the firefighting burden on any one state when many fires occur at the same time.