Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest Sending Firefighting Personnel to Assist with Ongoing Efforts in Australia

Contact(s): Susan Garner, Acting Public Affairs Officer (541) 618-2113

MEDFORD, January 14, 2020 – As wildfires continue to burn in Australia, the United States has been sending U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) wildfire personnel to assist with ongoing wildfire suppression efforts.

The National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) has received an Australian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council request that includes several Type I Incident Management Teams (IMTs) who specialize in managing wildland fire incidents, and other qualified personnel, such as aircraft managers, firefighting crews, and chainsaw operators. The National Interagency Coordination Center (NICC) is working to fill this request, and anticipate a departure date of January 16, 2020.

As part of this response, the RRSNF will be filling requests to send personnel to participate in this mission. Individuals will be filling various staffing roles, including positions in aviation support and line crew support.

Those heading to Australia will begin traveling as soon as Thursday, and will be completing 30-day missions, with additional time for travel.

After arriving in Australia, the U.S. firefighters are given the rest of the arrival day to acclimate to the new time zone and their new surroundings. They then receive operational and safety briefings from Australian fire authorities. After thorough briefings and a safety measure review, U.S. firefighters integrate and work closely with Australian firefighters.

The RRSNF will be posting updates to the Forest's Facebook and Twitter pages, as they are made available by those deployed employees. The public are encouraged to follow along to support the Australian people.

More information on the United States Resources that have been mobilized to assist in Australia can be found on the National Interagency Fire Center's website.