Federal wildland fire agencies revise and replace agreement with Australia

U.S. firefighters in Australia
U.S. firefighters in Victoria, Australia, February, 2009. Photo by Wol Worrell.

The United States Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture have renewed an international arrangement with Australia to continue a partnership that provides mutual assistance for wildland fire preparedness, suppression and post-fire recovery.

These agreements have existed for years but language was added during this revision to enhance prevention and presuppression activities. Here is how the National Wildfire Coordinating Group defines presuppression:

Activities in advance of fire occurrence to ensure effective suppression action. Includes planning the organization, recruiting and training, procuring equipment and supplies, maintaining fire equipment and fire control improvements, and negotiating cooperative and/or mutual aid agreements.

U.S. Embassy Canberra Chargé d’Affaires James Carouso and Emergency Management Australia Director-General Mark Crosweller signed the renewal of the Wildland Fire Management Arrangement January 23, 2017 in Australia. The arrangement builds on 15 years of close collaboration between firefighters, and allows for the sharing of personnel, research, and technology to boost the mutual wildland fire management capabilities.

Since the U.S. and Australia have opposite fire seasons, and because these countries use interchangeable methods and doctrine, a mutually beneficial mechanism was established in 2002 for quickly sharing trained personnel and critical resources.

Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Jim.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.