Canada, U.S. ink enhanced wildland fire co-operation deal
By Avert staff
Canada and the U.S. signed a deal Friday establishing procedures for the exchange of wildland fire resources and a framework for mutual assistance and co-operation.
The memorandum of understanding between Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and the Interior will allow for a more efficient exchange of wildfire suppression resources and information sharing across the border, NRCan said in a news release.
The deal expands the scope of co-operation, formerly focused solely on suppression, to include prevention, research, innovation, technical co-operation and risk mitigation.
“The United States and Canada have a long history of working together to fight wildfires across North America,” U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in the release. “This arrangement builds on this proud history to improve how we co-operate at all levels to meet the growing wildfire threat. As climate change continues to threaten communities, infrastructure, forests and rangelands, finding new ways to work together is essential. I am confident that this arrangement between our two nations, coupled with critical reforms and investments we aim to secure in President Biden’s FY24 budget for our federal wildland firefighter workforce, will improve how we protect firefighters and communities and share resources, information and expertise as we tackle this crisis together.”
This year more than 1,500 U.S. firefighters, incident managers and support staff have been deployed to fight Canadian wildfires.
“Throughout this challenging wildfire season, Canada has been able to count on personnel and resources from trusted international partners, including the United States, just as we have supported other countries with their response to wildfires. Through this memorandum of understanding, we’re strengthening these ties to allow for swift mobilization and deployments and to improve wildland fire management in both countries in the seasons to come,” Bill Blair, Minister of Emergency Preparedness, said in the release.
On June 16, the U.S. committed to providing Canada with wildfire technology support through its FireGuard program.
Canada is working to launch its WildFireSat mission, a first-of-its-kind purpose-built, public satellite system for monitoring fires. Expected in 2029, WildFireSat will provide unprecedented near-real-time intelligence on all active wildfires.
This year’s wildfire season is amongst the worst we’ve ever seen. Today, @USAmbCanada and I signed an arrangement that strengthens our countries’ cooperation to combat wildland fires and protect our communities. pic.twitter.com/DuKe9QIWHO
— Jonathan Wilkinson 🇨🇦 (@JonathanWNV) June 22, 2023
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