The Forest Service has managed wildfires for more than 100 years and is considered the best wildland fire organization in the world. As leaders, we are continually striving to gain a better understanding of fire behavior with cutting edge research and technology. Sharing our expertise through international exchange programs is critical to advancing natural resource protection and wildland fire techniques worldwide.
Recently, fire and disaster management officials from around the world visited the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) in Boise, Idaho to observe emerging fire management practices. The Fire Center is the command hub for the nation’s response to wildfires. More than 600 employees from eight federal and state agencies work together there to mobilize aircraft, firefighters, engines, equipment and intelligence to respond to wildfires.
Delegations from Greece, Oman, Lebanon, Spain and Chile were welcomed by Forest Service fire directors and staff while touring the high-tech facility. The foreign visitors were keenly interested in learning how NIFC mobilizes and allocates resources at the national, state and local level. Equally important were the dynamics of several federal agencies coordinating emergency response operations both internationally and nationally.
Site visits included the delegation from the Philippines to the Pacheco Fire in New Mexico, and another group from Ethiopia visited a flooded area in North Dakota.
Public tours of NIFC are available by request on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9 a.m. Please call 208-387-5457 to sign up for a tour.