SW area issues warning for firefighters working near US/Mexico border

Border safety alert for wildland firefightersIn 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.

 

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About Bill Gabbert

Wildland fire has been a major part of Bill Gabbert’s life for several decades. After growing up in the south, he migrated to southern California where he lived for 20 years, working as a wildland firefighter. Later he took his affinity for firefighting to Indiana and eventually the Black Hills of South Dakota where he was the Fire Management Officer for a group of seven national parks. Today he is the creator and owner of WildfireToday.com and Sagacity Wildfire Services and serves as an expert witness in wildland fire. If you are interested in wildland fire, welcome… grab a cup of coffee and put your feet up. Google+

11 thoughts on “SW area issues warning for firefighters working near US/Mexico border

  1. Lovely. They not only risk their lives fighting the fires, now they have this to worry about. They do not need garbage like this being a distraction when they need to be able to keep their minds on the work of fighting the fire. That just puts them at even MORE risk.

  2. Napalitono says the border has never been more secure. Nothing to see here move along.

  3. Napalitono says the border has never been more secure, then I say she needs to be there in person dealing with this as a civilian. That would be a wake up call needed.

    • AMEN!!! Obama’s “yes woman” needs to go to the borders in Arizona, Texas and California. She needs to stand patrol. She needs to attend the funerals of those border guards who were murdered on (according to her) those secure borders. She needs to look those the widows and fatherless children ion the eye and they are safe.
      If that ever happens they better have EMTs nearby when she chokes on her own words.

  4. US firefighters in this area should all be issued AUTOMATIC weapons and given training in their use…

  5. How many times are we going to simply grant amnesty without doing a solitary THING to protect our borders? At this rate, we just might as well raise the white flag and surrender Washington DC. Then you will see just how fast the “new regime” makes Spanish the official language of the US. Ever heard the expression, “There goes the neighborhood?” Well, there goes the U.S. of America.

    I say this because our government really is doing ZERO, NADA, ZILCH, in the realistic enforcement of immigration laws and especially doing noting to repeal the so-called “ANCHOR BABY” law. My gosh, how stupid are we to keep this ridiculous law on the books????

    It is a tough problem but this tough problem is fixable if strong leaders will make the tough decisions. Unfortunately, we don’t have anyone in DC strong enough to make those tough decisions.

    First and foremost, we must stop the hemorrhaging of illegals coming in at the borders. Absent that, everything else is meaningless. We’re too wrapped up with Iraq and Afghanistan and everywhere else on the planet, and we have left ourselves wide open right here at home.

    Yes, our borders are absolutely defensible. We have an amazingly competent military whose job is to defend our country. Perhaps it’s about time we started deploying them to defend our own country.

  6. Put US troops (ARMED!)on the border so the firefighters can do THEIR job.
    Troops have sworn an oath ‘to protect and defend’ this country and Constitution against ALL enemies, foreign and domestic. I believe it applies in so many ways to this situation!!

  7. the way to stop illegals is to jail any employer that employs illegals !!! it is a crime to help criminals illegals are criminals… if they cannot find work here they will not come… crack down on employers.

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