Turkmen firefighters visit Division of Forestry fire fighting operations

Turkmen visit Nevada fire fighting operations. Photograph courtesy of Michael Klug, Nevada Division of Forestry.

CARSON CITY, Nev.—Fire raging on the west side of Reno last week gave Turkmenistan’s fire ambassadors a up-close view of Nevada’s dire fire situation.

The eight Turkmen fire officers and two interpreters were in Reno last week as part of the Nevada National Guard’s partnership with their country. They spent three days training at the Regional Public Safety Training Center with Reno Fire Department, one day at the Fallon Naval Air Station.

“The Hawkens fire outside of Reno presented an opportunity for the Turkmen to see actual wildland fire operations,” said Michael Klug, fire management officer for the Nevada Division of Forestry. “They spent Friday morning at the Stead Aviation facility, where they were saw first hand how the Air Guard works with NDF to support wildland firefighting, and how military helicopters are configured for fire fighting missions.”

The Turkmen also visited the Incident Command Post where they learned how an incident management team organizes to provide command and support of a large fire.

“They stated that after our previous wildland firefighting presentations in Turkmenistan, it was beneficial to see how it works on an actual fire,” Klug said.

Turkmenistan was part of the Soviet Union until 1991.

“Sunday night we hosted a BBQ dinner at my home,” Klug said. “At the BBQ they stated that growing up in the Soviet Union they heard a lot of anti-USA propaganda, so they were very glad to come to America to see what it was like. These exchanges have lead to mutual understanding and friendship between Nevadans and Turkmen, which to me seems like the main benefit of this program.”

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