DOINews: Secretary Jewell Meets the BLM Folsom Lake Veterans Crew during her Visit to the California Wildland Fire Operations Center

Last edited 09/05/2019

On Tuesday, August 12, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell visited the Northern California Geographic Area Coordination Center (North Ops) in Redding, Calif., where she toured on-the-ground fuels management projects in the surrounding area and met with members of the interagency fire leadership team and employees from the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service, to include the BLM Folsom Lake Veterans Crew.

Secretary Jewell with BLM Folsom Lake Veterans Crew

During her recent visit to North Ops in California, Secretary Jewell met with the BLM Folsom Lake Veterans Crew in the morning. Later in the day, the Secretary tweeted out this photo and the message "Honored to meet some of our nation's bravest today. This veterans crew is helping fight the wildfires in CA. SJ"

The veterans' crew program started in 2012 as a new program for BLM focused on providing firefighting jobs for veterans.

BLM Folsom Lake Veterans Crew

The Folsom Lake Veterans Crew, whose members represent multiple military branches, in the field after a fire.

The primary goal of the program is to provide an additional firefighting resource for the current fire season and beyond, both locally and nationally. This crew also provides an opportunity for veterans to get jobs and gain skills, and hopefully, become interested in employment with the BLM or other federal agencies in fire or other land management areas.

BLM Firetrucks

Learn more about the program on BLM California's website:

"You will be a valuable asset to the crew because you're physically fit, you're motivated... What you will lack is the firefighting knowledge which the BLM will teach you. The BLM takes care of its veterans and that's why they [started] this program." said Casey Cole, BLM 2012 Folsom Lake Fire Crew Member.

Watch the video of Casey Cole, United States Marine Corps veteran, as he talks about his experience with the BLM Folsom Lake Fire Crew and how other military veterans can work for this program.

Screen shot of YouTube video of Folsom Lake Veteran Crew member

CLICK HERE to watch the video on BLM California's YouTube channel.

The Folsom Fire Hand Crew is a part of the approximately 21,000 interagency personnel, 1,200 fire engines and 160 helicopters currently assigned to fires across the nation. Eighteen large airtankers, two MAFFS-equipped C-130s and 71 Single Engine Air Tankers are available nationally to combat fires burning across the United States. Additional personnel and firefighting assets remain available to meet resource orders.

And federal, state, tribal and local agencies have developed preparedness programs that help families and communities prepare for and survive wildfire. Please visit Firewise at and Ready Set Go! at for more information.

August 14, 2014

Story and photos provided by BLM-California

Read the press release about Secretary Jewell's visit and current fire logistics.

See more photos from Secretary Jewell's trip on Flickr.

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