Cal Fire is taking action to protect forests and add firefighters to its ranks with the help of new funding.
On Wednesday, a $1.9 million grant for training was awarded to the Central Valley Forestry Corps.
Central Valley Forestry Corps Student, Matthew Snarr, says he knew early on he wanted to pursue a career in forestry but wasn't sure where to start.
"Getting the certs and getting the job is hard, and it's a difficult field to navigate unless you have help," explained Snarr.
When he learned about the Central Valley Forestry Corps, he had his answer.
"Every person here is a brother or a sister. We build off of each others skills," added Snarr. "Everyone comes from a different background."
The money will be used to recruit, train, and prepare local residents for entry level jobs in forestry.
"There's a huge need for the types of folks and the types of skills, folks are getting in this program," said Cal Fire Forester Justin Britton. "The wildfire problem is not going away."
The training is crucial to fighting wildfires across our state and provides students with a variety of careers in forestry.
"They can be an arborist, they can go into logging, they can go into law enforcement if they want to be forest rangers," added Central Valley Forestry Corps Project Coordinator Jerry Irvin.
The program is no cost to students and lasts roughly 5 months, assisting students from start to finish and guiding them through the job search.
"The folks coming through this program are equipped for the types of jobs we need," added Britton. "It's a win win."
An average starting wage is roughly $17 an hour. If you're interested in a career in forestry or learning more about the program register at SierraTree.org or call 844-490-7130.