United States and Portugal sign agreement on preventing and fighting fires


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The United States and Portugal will today sign a memorandum of understanding on rural fire prevention and combat that will enable the sharing of resources in the areas of training, research, risk reduction, and soil remediation.

The agreement will be signed at the US Embassy in Lisbon between the National Interagency Coordination Center and the Agency for Integrated Rural Fire Management (AGIF).

The US Embassy in Lisbon considers “an important milestone in US-Portugal collaboration on rural fire management” the signing of this memorandum of understanding.

“Following similar highly successful agreements between the United States and Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Mexico, this MOU will help prevent and combat the devastating fires that affect both the United States and Portugal each year. This agreement will allow for faster sharing of resources to fight rural fires, ranging from joint training on firefighting, research on fire prevention and risk reduction, and post-fire soil and water restoration,” says a statement from the embassy.

According to the note, the United States is already helping AGIF develop a training strategy on command and control operations focused on rural fires, and in October 2022, experts from the U.S. Forest Service spent two weeks in Serra da Estrela with officials from the Institute of Nature Conservation and Forests (ICNF) to rehabilitate more than 303,000 square kilometers of fire-damaged land and restore drinking water sources for 2.5 million people in Portugal.

Under this memorandum, other entities from both countries involved in fighting rural fires will be able to cooperate directly, sharing best practices and the most advanced technical and scientific knowledge.

For AGIF, this memorandum aims to strengthen cooperation between the two countries in the areas of mutual assistance in rural fire management, information sharing, training and education, research and innovation, and exchange of resources for fire suppression.

AGIF also indicates that through this memorandum of understanding, Portuguese entities can not only collect the best experiences for their areas of activity, but also transmit their best practices to US entities.

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