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International Partners header with photos of various International people talking together, being interviewed, and a photo of a childs letter to a firefighter saying good luck.

International agreements support wildland firefighting efforts


The United States has two international firefighting agreements defining how the U.S. and other nations may exchange personnel and equipment to assist with fire suppression activities. An emergency agreement was established with Australia and New Zealand during the fire season of 2000, and we are working on long-term arrangements with these countries.

An agreement with Canada has existed since 1982 and was defined by the exchange of diplomatic notes in 1982 and by yearly operational guidelines. Over 1300 Canadian firefighters, plus helicopters and airtankers, were brought into the U.S. in 2000 under this agreement.

The U.S. signed an agreement with Mexico in June of 1999 through the Departments of Interior and Agriculture. Its main purpose is to define assistance that may be provided by both parties for fires threatening properties and resources along the U.S.- Mexico border. It also allows both parties to work on fire suppression issues outside the border zone. During the 2000 fire season, 20 to 40 Mexican nationals assisted with fire suppression activities in the U.S. Mexican crew members were dispatched to fires through an arrangement between the National Park Service and a village just across the border from Big Bend National Park. Also under this agreement, two other Mexican nationals helped out in the main warehouse in the Rocky Mountain Geographical Area.



The goal of the discussions with Australia and New Zealand is to develop a long-term arrangement that will involve the exchange of firefighters and fire managers during severe fire seasons, as well as provide for technical exchanges to share knowledge, skills and experience among the various fire management organizations.

The emergency agreement was signed in August 2000 because all U.S. resources had been exhausted. Approximately 90 Australian and 10 New Zealand firefighters came to the U.S. to assist with fire suppression efforts in Montana and Idaho.






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