USAID Assist in Protecting Lebanon’s Forests from Wildfire

As a part of a wild land firefighting training program for officers from the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) conducted helicopter water bucket training for 30 LAF pilots and crew members from May 23-28, 2011.  This is the second in a series of trainings to increase LAF officers’ capacity in combating wildfires.  The training consisted of a one day of theoretical training on topics including fire behavior and response coordination, and five days of demonstration sessions consisting of helicopter flights using suspended water buckets.  The program will provide LAF with extra firefighting equipment and train LAF officers to become trainers on basic firefighting strategy and safety.  Wildfires, which remain one of the main reasons for loosing Lebanon’s green areas, have destroyed more than 4,000 hectares of trees across the country during the 2007 peak year fire season.    The USFS operates in Lebanon through an interagency agreement with USAID/Lebanon.

A Lebanese Air Force SA-330 Puma taking part of the USAID wild land firefighting training program.

Text and Photo credits: USAID | LEBANON

Source: http://www.usaid.gov/lb/articles/story_1417.html

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