Women firefighters from Latin America train and network with USFS counterparts - 02/2018

The week of February 12th, 22 women from seven Latin American countries gathered in Tucson, Arizona for the Leadership of Women in Fire workshop to receive training, meet other women from the region who work in fire, and learn from the experience of men and women in the U.S. Forest Service.

Two Brazilian women from
Brazil’s Chico Mendes Institute
for Biodiversity Conservation
(ICMBio) and the Institute of
the Environment and
Renewable Natural Resources
(IBAMA) attended the
workshop, which funded under the partnership between the USFS, USAID/Brazil and the Brazilian government to conserve biodiversity in the Amazon. This U.S. and Brazil partnership includes efforts to strengthen fire management in Brazil by building capacity in prevention, response, and recovery according to conservation objectives.

Renee Jack, Fire Operations Supervisor on the Deschutes National Forest and presenter in Tucson, recognizes the value of this type of exchange. “I have been mentored and trained [through international details] since 2008, and continue to learn from them every time. I carry this knowledge back to the U.S. with me and use these skills in my job at my home unit and on incidents.”

The Forest Service Fire and Aviation Management staff led the workshop and delivered presentations and facilitated discussions, including on topics such as incident command system management, incident stress management, fire prevention, prescribed burns, and leadership development. The group visited the Tucson Interagency Dispatch Center as well as a recently burned site for hands on learning. Discussion sessions encouraged the women to share challenges and opportunities they face as fire practitioners and leaders.