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News.bytesNews.bytes Extra, issue 373

Helping Australia recover from wildfires

U.S. Incident Management Team (IMT) Members and U.S. Hotshot Firefighting Crew Assisting Australian IMT and Firefighters on Victoria Bushfires

On Sunday, February 15, 2009, 60 wildfire specialists from the United States arrived in Melbourne at the request of the Australian government to assist, supplement, and support Victoria State agencies with their bushfire firefighting and recovery efforts during unprecedented fire activity.  The bushfires in the southeastern part of Australia (State of Victoria) have claimed approximately over 200 lives since February 7. (text continues below)

Ron Woychak stands outside a vehicle, among fire-scorched trees in Australia
Ron Woychak stands outside a vehicle, among fire-scorched trees in Australia

Ron Woychak, planning section chief of BLM's Southern California Desert District, is working in planning and has been developing a Fire Suppression Rehabilitation Plan that includes both short-term and long-term options.  Ron has also been helping with the inventory (data collection) and implementation of fire suppression rehabilitation efforts.  He also helped coordinate and facilitate the arrival of Erv Gasser’s US Interagency BAER (Burned Area Emergency Response) team to the Kilmore East-Murrindindi Complex North fire.

Ron reports that one of the challenges he has experienced is coordinating with the many local agency partners and jurisdictions involved in land management such as the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE), Country Fire Authority (CFA), and Department of Primary Industries (DPI) as well as land owners and local municipalities.

- S. Razo, 3/4/09

BLM-California News.bytes, issue 373

Last updated: 03-12-2009