Thursday, February 12, 2009

U.S. to send 60 wildland fire personnel to Australia

More details are emerging about the deployment to Australia. On Wednesday the National Interagency Coordination Center in Boise, Idaho issued this news release:
February 11, 2009 [Boise, Idaho] The National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) received a request for assistance from Australia, in the wake of unprecedented fire activity in the southeastern part of Australia. Wildfires in Australia have claimed at least 200 lives in the past week.

The United States will send 60 wildfire specialists to Australia to meet this request. American specialists include wildland fire personnel with expertise operations, planning and logistics. Two thirteen-person teams specializing in rehabilitating burned areas, and one 20-person suppression team also will be sent. The specialists, all from federal agencies, will come from throughout the United States. Their length of deployment will be up to 35 days.
The information provided to the people being deployed included this:
Firefighters will be traveling to Australia in a group(s) on the same flight. NIFC/NICC will designate the Chief of Party for the group.

This fire assignment will be to the State of Victoria, Australia. You will fly from the U.S. to Melbourne, the capital of Victoria. You will be working for the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE), which is the main state land management agency. HERE is the main website for current firefighting activities involving DSE.

You will also work with other Victorian State agencies such as Parks Victoria. The State of Victoria has a single volunteer fire fighting organization, the Country Fire Authority (CFA). You will also be working with CFA firefighters. Their website is:

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