The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) continues to develop a comprehensive program that will establish mutual benefits internationally through technical exchanges. There are several projects underway during the summer season of 1998 that will help establish a foundation for development of a long-range program of technological importance and to identify opportunities for natural resource research pertaining to wildland and prescribed fire.
BLM personnel will be in Canada to review their Incident Command structure, examine the air tanker program and evaluate it for possible application in the U.S., evaluate specific aircraft for lead plane applications, examine Canadian methods for management of brush encroachment in prairie regions, review the Canadian Fire Danger Rating System and data utilization, review the fire qualifications system, review their use of satellite technology, and examine their use of the GIS system.
A proposal is being sent to Mexico officials with a schedule for exchanges beginning in May this year. The exchange would be under the auspices of the national office, and would include a review of the Mexico system by BLM management officials and a corresponding review of the U.S. System by Mexican officials. Later during the fire season, technical fire specialists from Mexico would visit NIFC at Boise, then work with BLM personnel, one group in California and another in Arizona. Also during the fire season, BLM specialists would travel to Mexico to work with fire specialists there and learn of their methods.
Four BLM smokejumper specialists travelled to the Krasnoyarsk region to train and work with the Russian fire programme. In addition to observing and documenting methodologies, they are learning about aspects of fire equipment. Four Russian smokejumpers will spend several weeks in the later part of the active fire season working with BLM from the Boise, Idaho national base. BLM also participated in a demonstration retardant utilization project in Siberia during the season.
BLM will send a technical fire management officer to Norway during this season. A Norwegian fire management officer will travel to the United States later in the season to observe BLM methods and operations.
From: David Vickery Chief, External Affairs Address: BLM Fire and Aviation National Interagency Fire Center 3833 S. Development Blvd. USA – Boise, Idaho USA