In what seems to be an annual occurrence, the Southwest Geographic Area has issued another “Safety Alert” with the subject: “US – Mexico Border Fire Operations Safety”. Saying the border area has become “increasingly dangerous” to firefighters, they listed in the two-page document some watchout situations:
“These are potential situations firefighters could encounter:
1. Illegal immigrant and smugglers warming fires have started wildland fires.
2. Illegal activity along the border has involved “copy cat vehicles” painted to look like agency vehicles.
3. Radios and phones don’t work in many locations on the border.
4. Awareness that when using cell phones to communicate, you may experience interference from Mexico.
5. Conflicts in air space with helicopters assigned to the fire and helicopters used for law enforcement.
6. Undocumented aliens are hiding or camping within or adjacent to the incident operations.
6. Potential health risks associated with large amounts of trash or caches of drugs burning.
7. Arson fires being started to divert attention from illegal activities happening nearby.
8. Clusters of illegal immigrant vehicles.
9. Packs and equipment being stolen.
10. Potential lack of law enforcement or medical support on the Mexico side of the border.”
Update at 10:56 MT, June 6, 2011. Comments are now closed. More info about comments.