Readout of Secretary Salazar and BLM Director Abbey’s Visit to Fire Incident Command Post in Arizona
Salazar Receives Briefing and Thanks Firefighters and Volunteers
Contact: Kate Kelly (202) 208-6416
Celia Boddington (202) 208-6913
SPRINGERVILLE, AZ – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today spent time with the men and women battling the wildfires in Arizona.
Secretary Salazar attended the morning Cooperators Briefing with Incident Commander Norm Walker, Apache Chief Deputy Police Mike Hogan, Area Commander Jim Loach of the National Park Service, and local tribal leaders where he received an update on the efforts to contain the fires and the work by federal partners on the ground – including DOI, the U.S. Forest Service, the National Weather Service and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) – to support state and local responders.
Along with Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Director Bob Abbey and US Geological Survey Director Marcia McNutt, Secretary Salazar then toured the Fire Incident Command Post in Springerville where they are coordinating activities to fight the Wallow Fire. Secretary Salazar spent time with the volunteers and fire fighters there and emphasized that the key priority is for safety, both for the wildland fire fighters and the public.
The Department of the Interior plays a key role in the federal government’s wildland firefighting organization. Over 3,400 personnel from Interior are currently supporting fire suppression efforts nationwide with 980 personnel responding to the Wallow fire.
Earlier this year, Secretary Salazar visited the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) in Boise, Idaho, to discuss the 2011 fire season and the Department’s ongoing commitment to developing a cohesive national strategy to better address the mounting risks of wildfire around the nation.