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Field Notes Entry   
Paradise Burns?
Southeast Region, April 15, 2005
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Cabo Rojo, Laguna Cartagena, Vieques and Culebra NWRs all experienced numerous arson wildfires in April 2005. A severe drought in these areas had created perfect conditions for the fires, so refuge staff consequently requested fire suppression support through the Regional Office. To help manage and support existing fire fighters on the ground in Puerto Rico the Service deployed professional, fire suppression advisors, known as Incident Commanders Type 4 (ICT4) to Puerto Rico to lead the fire fighting efforts on the three refuges. In total, 14 ICT4s, drawn for other federal land management agencies, were rotated in as groups of 3 and 4 during the 6 - 8 weeks the fires were burning. The Service supplied 11 ICT4s and $270,000 in funds to contract additional fire fighting support from local, Commonwealth and city fire stations. Of the ICT4s deployed, the Service supplied 11, the Forest Service, 1 and 3 came from the Park Service. This was the first time that severity funding was requested for the Caribbean refuges for suppression of wildfires. It won?t be the last time.

Contributed by: Jim Durrwachter, FMO, Florida Panther and Ten Thousand Islands NWR, FL

No contact information available. Please contact Larry Dean, 612-713-5313, larry_dean@fws.gov
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