Tricounty News

DNR to train firefighters from Mexico

Ten Mexican firefighters will be traveling to Bemidji on March 9-13, to train in wildland fire suppression through classes taught by the Minnesota Department of Natural of Resources (DNR). The classes will be held at Bemidji State University. "We are excited to have the Mexican firefighters in our class," said BJ Glesener, DNR FireWise communities specialist, who is coordinating the course. "It is always fun and educational to share information with folks doing the same job in other parts of the world. The Mexicans are faced with wildland-urban interface just like we have here." The classes are held annually throughout the state to train new wildland firefighters. Course materials include Watch Out Situations, fire behavior, weather, tools used in wildland firefighting, pump operation and radio communications. There will also be a field exercise for practical applications of classroom concepts. United States wildland firefighters are often called on to help with fire suppression in other parts of the world. Currently, some firefighters have been dispatched to Australia to help with the fire problems they are having. The Mexicans learned about the fire classes from the Internet. The men are from Cuernavaca Morelos, Mexico which is southwest of Mexico City. Cuernavaca Morelos is a sister city to Minneapolis.