Nevada firefighters continue to support efforts in Australia

RENO, Nev. – Four BLM firefighters recently returned from assisting with the fire suppression efforts in Australia. Brian Holmes, Eric Tilden and Joe Miller returned February 5 and Justin Cutler returned February 10. The BLM has also sent two more firefighters over to Australia and plans to send three more in the coming weeks bringing the total amount of firefighters sent to assist to 11.

Holmes is normally assigned as an Engine Captain on the Southern Nevada District and was serving as a Task Force Leader/Crewmember. Tilden is a Fire Helicopter Supervisor on the Elko District and was also serving as a Task Force Leader/ Crewmember. Miller is an Air Tanker Base manager on the Battle Mountain District and served as an Air Tanker Base Manager and provided other aviation assistance. Cutler is the Assistant Superintendent for the Silver State Hotshots based out of Carson City and served as an Aerial tactical Supervisor.

Two BLM firefighters are currently on the ground in Australia and three more are expected to leave in the coming week. All will be returning sometime in March. Details on their individual assignments are not available at this time.

“We’re proud of the volunteers who have stepped up to assist with the suppression efforts in Australia since December 2019,” said Paul Petersen, BLM Nevada State Fire Management Officer. “Our ability to contribute to is a testament to the training and experience of our personnel and a way to give back to a country that has provided assistance to us many times.”

Australia and the U.S. have conducted exchanges in techniques, policies and information as far back as 1964. Australia has sent fire management specialists to the U.S. six times since 2000. The United States has sent firefighters and fire managers to assist with Australia’s fire season four times since 2003.

More information about the firefighting efforts in Australia can be found at

  • BLM Nevada Flickr Album with photos from Nevada firefighters sent to Australia

  • National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) US Resources Mobilized to Australia

  • NIFC Flickr Album- 2020 Australian Mobilization

  • New South Wales Rural Fire Service

  • South Australian Country Fire Service

  • Queensland Fire and Emergency Services



This year, we invite everyone to reimagine your public lands as we celebrate 75 years of the BLM’s stewardship and service to the American people. The BLM manages approximately 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. 

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Chris Rose