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US Forest Service brings effort to recruit female firefighters to California

USFS video still

The U.S. Forest Service wants more women to consider a career in firefighting and as a result, will host a first-ever training camp for women here in California. 

The session will take place in Santa Barbara from Sunday, November 27 to Friday, December 2, 2016.

Julissa Gonzalez is the equal employment specialist for the Los Padres National Forest and told KCBX that there is currently an underrepresentation of women in the firefighting field.

"We want to use this training camp as an educational-awareness opportunity to let all people know, especially women, that: yes you are capable, yes we're interested in having you work for us, and we want you to apply," said Gonzalez.

Gonzalez said the six-day, five-night camp will give women a realistic preview of what an entry-level wildland firefighter does working for the forest service.

She said about one-in-four women attending previous camps held in other states over the past two years have ended up with forest service firefighting jobs as a result of the training.

In addition to learning general career skills, those who are selected to participate will also be paid a stipend for their time.

The deadline to apply is Sunday, September 18, 2016.

USFS Application: Los Padres National Forest Women in Wildfire Basic Training Camp