Enrollment numbers soar at wildfire academy in Prescott

PRESCOTT, AZ - Officials say enrollment has surged in a weeklong wildland firefighting academy underway in Prescott.

The Daily Courier reports more than 1,000 students enrolled this year for the Arizona Wildfire and Incident Management Academy, which began Saturday and continues through Friday at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

FULL SECTION: Arizona wildfires

Academy Executive Director Tony Sciacca says the highest enrollment number in the school's 16 years of operation was previously 730 students.

Sciacca says about 80 percent of the students enrolled in classes this year are from Arizona. The rest are from 23 other states, Canada and Australia.

Academy Deputy Incident Commander Todd Able says the high enrollment number might be attributed to the long wildfire season last year.

Able says funding for fire departments also seems to be improving, allowing departments to spend more on training.

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