FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, JULY 6, 2012
||Brian Haines, public information officer
N.C. Forest Service
N.C. Forest Service lends a hand to other states
RALEIGH — The N.C. Forest Service has sent 32 employees to help other states and the federal government fight wildfires around the country.
“N.C. Forest Service employees are recognized nationally as excellent wildland firefighters,” said State Forester Wib Owen. “During times of extreme wildfire in our country, the wildland fire community works together to help each other. In fact, many of our folks have trained with other state and federal agencies. Those trainings and these opportunities to work together ultimately benefit North Carolina because our employees gain knowledge and experience that can be used when responding to incidents here at home.”
Forest Service employees are working on fires in Colorado, Montana, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming. The agency also is providing staff for the Southern Area Coordination Center in Atlanta. In North Carolina, workers are helping the U.S. Forest Service battle the 21,000-acre fire in the Croatan National Forest near New Bern.
The N.C. Forest Service has helped other agencies by providing a 20-member firefighting crew as well as personnel to fill a variety of roles: equipment manager, helicopter crewmember, intelligence support, personnel time recorder, pump operator, radio operator, situation unit leader, task force leader and aviation technical specialist.
The requesting agencies will reimburse the state for providing the assistance.
“We are very proud of these men and woman for the personal sacrifice they are making to aid in fighting these fires,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “It is extremely difficult for states — and even the federal government — to battle large wildfires without outside assistance. Our employees know that the work they do to help other firefighting agencies will come back to us in the form of assistance when we need it.”