The letter from Senators Ron Wyden, Jeff Merkley, Dianne Feinstein, and Kamala Harris follows a report that the National Wildfire Coordinating Group no longer publishes training materials in Spanish for wildland fire crews.
“Given that a significant number of these brave wildland fire crews speak Spanish as their native language, it would be wiser and safer to provide bilingual training materials,” the senators wrote in their letter to National Wildfire Coordinating Group Chairman Garth Fisher. “The alternative is to risk danger and harm by requiring that all firefighters rapidly attempt to understand training materials that are only available in English.”
The senators urged the NWCG to begin producing bilingual versions of key manuals like the Incident Response Pocket Guide.
“Firefighters must be provided with clearly understandable, updated training materials so that they can operate safely and respond to wildfires expeditiously and efficiently,” the senators wrote.