Firefighters from Mexico arriving in California
Photo: USFS Fire-California /Twitter @R5_Fire_News ·
News and Entertainment

Mexico Sent 100 Firefighters to California to Aid with Wildfires

Wildfires continue to destroy acres of land throughout the state of California and Mexico has generously sent more than 100 firefighters to provide aid. Their Environment Department announced that five teams of 20 qualified, equipped firefighters from Mexico’s national forestry commission across 22 states will work with the U.S. Forest Service. Their arrival comes after firefighters from Guanajuato, Mexico arrived to help with the blaze in Oregon. Guanajuato offered to aid the city of Ashland to fight the fires after 51 years of being considered sister cities. Latinx Twitter praised their actions especially in light of the current immigration crisis at the border.

The firefighters had a welcome ceremony on Wednesday afternoon followed by training before heading off to battle the Castle Fire within the Sequoia Complex (SQF Complex) in Tulare County where Sequoia National Park is located, KMPH in Fresno reported. The SQF Complex is made up of the Castle and Shotgun fires, which were ignited by lightning on August 19th. It has grown to 144,826 acres and is currently 35 percent contained.

“Fires do not have borders, fires do not have different languages and cultures. In the end, we all speak the same language when it comes to fighting fire,” said Eduardo Cruz, National Fire Director of CONAFOR (National Forestry Commission of Mexico) said. The department said they can spare the crews because in 31 of Mexico’s 32 states there are no active wildfires, KTLA reports.

Crews continue to battle the 26 remaining major wildfires in California with more than 18,200 firefighters on the front lines, according to the state’s Daily Wildfire Report. Since the beginning of the year, there have been over 8,000 wildfires that have burned over 3.6 million acres in California. Since August 15 there have been 26 fatalities and over 6,600 structures destroyed.

 

Firefighter Edgar Moreno Michoacán said in a video posted on the CONAFOR Twitter page that he “was emotional about going to provide support to a brotherly nation as they say. We’re going to give them the best of us and demonstrate what we’re capable of.” His sentiments are reminiscent of those of the Guanajuato firefighters who also felt a sense of camaraderie with U.S. firefighters. The USFS has formed a long standing partnership with Mexico in the area of fire management starting in 1962.

“The success of fighting fire in California is our interagency cooperation. We look forward to building our partnership CONAFOR during this assignment for further collaboration. Fire isn’t just a California problem, it’s a world problem.” Bob Baird, Director of Fire & Aviation said during a press conference.

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