With all of the recent media attention on wildfires out west and the impending start of the fall semester at NMU, here is a story idea that combines both. NMU is offering a wildland firefighting academic minor for the first time this fall. It consists of 23 credits with both classroom and hands-on field training. The courses are taught by experienced wildland firefighters and provide certification through the National Wildfire Coordinating Group. Students' experience through this program may open doors to other careers in natural resources, forestry, recreation and other related fields. NMU previously offered select firefighting courses, but not a full-fledged minor until this fall. Some elements are visual, such as controlled burns and courses on portable water pumps and chain saws. The chief instructor is Jeff Noble (227-2130). For more information on why NMU began offering this program through its health, physical education and recreation department, contact Mary Jane Tremethick at 227-1135.