In response to wildland fires in Oregon, Washington and California, federal wildland fire managers have worked with New Zealand and Australia to mobilize about 85 firefighters to assist with suppression. The firefighters will be in the States for 6 weeks, moving around to fill positions in on-going and new incidents. The U.S., New Zealand and Australia have long been partners in fire suppression, sending firefighters to help when fire activity is severe.
They’ll rest up tonight, and head to a variety of fires like the Klondike Fire, Taylor Fire and Sugar Pine/South Umpqua Complex in Oregon, the Natchez Fire in Northern California, and the Cougar, Crescent, Angel Springs and Miriam Fires in Washington.
The firefighters from New Zealand and Australia use a similar organization structure as fire operations in the United States, and once they learn the terrain, fuels and fire behavior, they’re a great fit. This jet load of firefighters is extremely experienced, and they’ll fill specialized roles such as Division Supervisors, Heavy Equipment Bosses, Task Force Leaders, Helicopter Managers and Crew Members, Structure Protection Specialists, Safety Officers and Liaison Officers. By adding the leadership on the fireline, more crews, engines and aircraft can be dispatched and operate safely.