Department Of Interior
|Office of the Secretary
Contact:Mark Pfeifle or Stephen Brooks
|For Immediate Release:Sept. 25, 2003
Secretary Norton Provides Training Grants to the
International Association of Fire Chiefs
Cooperative agreement will enhance the ability of local fire departments to operate safely and in concert with state and federal agencies during wildland fires
(Washington) - Interior Secretary Gale Norton today announced a Cooperative Agreement with the International Association of Fire Chiefs, in a ceremony in the nation's capital. The agreement allows Interior to share information with local fire departments, promote interagency cooperation and reduce wildfire risks to communities.
"Our agreement will
enhance the ability of local fire departments to operate safely and
in concert with state and federal agencies to combat forest and rangeland
fires across the country," said Norton. "We must strive to
create a seamless operation, so when the bell rings and the engines
roll, the color of the fire engine will not matter."
The almost $130,000 in funds will be spread over the remainder of fiscal year 2003 and 2004. The funds complement federal assistance already provided through the National Fire Plan. The funds improve firefighter training, update equipment, and help aid in prevention efforts in local communities.
Last year, wildfires burned 6.9 million acres of land and cost the federal government approximately $1.6 billion to put them out. Also, last year more than 835 homes and numerous other structures burned and, tragically, 23 firefighters lost their lives.
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