At least 100 firefighters from across Mexico arrived in California on Wednesday to assist in fighting the forest fires.
Following a welcome ceremony, Mexican firefighters will receive an orientation session and over the course of the following days, they will participate in the deployment of a fire shelter and other set-up trainings, according to the U.S. Forest Service.
Upon completion of the orientation, crews will be transported by ground to their assigned Castle Fire stations within the Sequoia Fire Complex in the Sequoia National Forest. The Sequoia Complex is comprised of the Castle and Shotgun fires.
“I am excited about this unique opportunity to visit a station where I worked and trained when I was young. The training I received helped me advance my career and now I feel able to help USFS and Sequoia, bringing firefighters from Mexico with me, to provide support in the California firefighting effort,” said Fire Management Manager of CONAFOR (National Forestry Commission of Mexico), Eduardo Cruz.
Cruz spent two seasons as a forest firefighter on a helicopter crew in the Sequoia National Forest early in his career, as part of the training and exchange program.
In 1989, USFS dispatched fire management specialists to assist Mexico during the disastrous fire season that occurred in the State of Quintana Roo. This year, the firefighters of Mexico will be able to return the favor.
Since 1962, USFS has had a long history of cooperation with Mexico in the area of fire management. USFS has been providing training and supporting Mexico in strengthening its fire fighting capabilities since 1983, the organization said.