Local fire captain part of fire suppression efforts in Australia
As historic wildfires continue to burn across parts of Australia, firefighters from different federal agencies have been called upon to help battle the blazes.
USDA Forest Service Fire Captain, Dave Soldavini, from the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, is in Australia and is working as part of an interagency group helping with fire suppression efforts.
Soldavini, according to the forest service, is part of the third group of fire resources the U.S. has deployed to Australia. The Forest Service and the U.S. Department of the Interior reportedly sent 44 personnel to Australia on Dec. 30. An additional 21 personnel were mobilized on Jan. 4, and will replace a previous group of American firefighters mobilized in early December. The forest service said on Tuesday that a total of 85 forest service personnel are in Australia.
After arriving in Brisbane, Soldavini had 24 hours to acclimate, according to the forest service, before participating in an all-day briefing that covered the current situation, expected fire behavior and operations standards and practices given by the Australian Rural Fire Service.
Soldavini will be deployed throughout the month of January, the forest service said, and may serve numerous roles including engine boss, task force leader, and division supervisor and operations section chief.
Federal agencies such as the forest service and Bureau of Land Management have already provided a few dozen people, according to a report by the Associated Press, which stated the last time U.S. firefighters worked in Australia was 2010. Australia and New Zealand have been sending firefighters to the U.S. for more than 15 years, most recently in August 2018, when 138 firefighters helped battle fires in Northern California and the Northwest.
“Our focus remains on helping the people of Australia and keeping people safe in these unprecedented conditions,” said Craig Leff, director of the Department of the Interior’s Office of Wildland Fire in an interview with the Associated Press.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User