Professional Private Wildland Fire Services Stands Ready to Respond for 2020 Fire Season
[Mill City, Ore. – April 27, 2020] – Professional Private Wildland Fire Service (PPWFS) companies provide the “boots on the ground” response to wildfires across the United States and stand ready to respond for the 2020 fire season as we have for the past 30 years.
PPWFS makes up over 40 percent of all wildfire suppression resources available on the ground nationally. The PPWFS is made up of Small Businesses that provide jobs to rural America and are also navigating their way during these unprecedent times. Companies who provide these resources intend to adapt and be available to respond using the Agency Best Management Practices and CDC Guidelines to mitigate the community spread of COVID-19.
Our priorities are and always have been the safety of our firefighters and assisting our agency partners to meet their mission wildfire response mission.
“COVID-19 has certainly created challenges in what will be a unique fire season,” says National Wildfire Suppression Association (NWSA) President Lee Miller of Miller Timber Services. “We’re recruiting, training and on-boarding via technology where possible. Our members are actively trying to engage with our agency partners, so our private fire resources are incorporated into wildfire response plans as some of our challenges as private industry are unique.”
NWSA member companies have stayed engaged with our agency partners as they work through recommendations on how to best respond to wildfires in the COVID-19 environment. PPWFS resources work under contacts and agreements with state and federal governments.
“This is not business as usual,” says NWSA Executive Director Deborah Miley. “Our challenge is to ensure agency wildfire plans include PPWFS and take into account additional costs that may be incurred to practice social distancing or providing additional personal protective equipment during what will be a unique fire season.”
PPWFS companies will adapt and respond to this crisis and will be ready to provide the mission-critical support our agency partners have come to rely on.
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