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International Fire Management training in Peru

Participants carryout a “spiderweb” exercise to build teamwork and problem solving skills. Forest Service Photo by AJ Doty.

PERU — Three Forest Service fire experts participated in the first International Fire Management Course in Peru from March 12 to 23: Isidoro Solis, Helitack manager on the Sequoia National Forest; Randy Garcia, engine captain on the Sante Fe National Forest; and Jayleen Vera, assistant air tanker base manager on the San Juan National Forest. Technical experts from Mexico and Colombia also served as instructors. The training was coordinated by the International Programs office and Peruvian partners, with funding from and in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development and hosted at the newly inaugurated firefighter training center in Piscacucho, Peru.

The intensive two-week training brought together 30 fire managers and responders from Peru, including the Peruvian Natural and National Parks Service, the Peruvian Forest Service, the Ministry of Culture and the National Institute for Civil Defense. The all-Spanish curriculum consisted of lessons and field exercises in topics such as wildland fire prevention, detection, and suppression; fire applications of the Incident Command System; leadership; and planning and operations of fire management programs. The training emphasized an interagency approach to standardized, successional training.

This course adds to the existing work carried out by the Forest Service in Peru, including community fire management courses in Loreto and Pucallpa last year, technical inputs to SERNANP’s recently approved fire strategy, and ongoing work with SERFOR to develop a national fire strategy. Additionally, the course coincided with the inauguration of the firefighter training center, where the training took place.  Pedro Gamboa, head of SERNANP, visited the training to inaugurate the course and the center.

Participants, instructors and Pedro Gamboa, head of SERNANP at the firefighter training center in Piscacucho, Peru. Forest Service Photo by AJ Doty.