Natural Resources Canada has reported in a news release that Canada and Mexico have agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that allows for wildfire resource and information sharing. The MOU is intended to improve emergency response to wild fires in both countries, including the sharing of fire management knowledge, innovations and research and the pooling of necessary resources during times of crisis.
Officially known as an MOU for the Exchange of Wildland Fire Management Resources Between Canadian and Mexican Participants under the Canada-Mexico Partnership, the MOU has been developed in response to the increase in frequency and intensity of wildland fire events in Canada and Mexico.
The collaboration between Canada and Mexico in forest management demonstrates a commitment and practical approach to resource development, public safety and security.
Due to the differences in the occurrence times of the fire seasons in Canada and Mexico, collaboration is mutually beneficial. This agreement will provide greater value for taxpayers’ investments in wildland firefighting. Further, no direct financial obligations are associated with this MOU.
Although wildland fire is essential for the continued existence of many ecosystems, it also poses a threat to human life, property and valuable natural resources. Over the past 25 years, wildland fires in Canada have consumed an average of 2.3 million hectares a year, and over the past decade, fire suppression costs have ranged from about $500 million to $1 billion a year.
Fire-prone conditions are predicted to increase across Canada during the 21st century, potentially doubling the area burned by the end of the century compared with recent decades.
The Forestry Working Group under the Canada-Mexico Partnership is co-chaired by Natural Resources Canada’s Canadian Forest Service and Mexico’s National Forest Commission, an agency under Mexico’s Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources.
Canada has a similar arrangement already in place with the United States.