Mexico Sends Volunteer Firefighters to Help Fight Oregon Fires

A team of firefighters from a central Mexican city has arrived in Southern Oregon.

By Fiona McCann September 11, 2020

They’re called the Heroic Fire Department of Guanajuato, from a city in central Mexico that for more than 50 years has called Ashland, Oregon its sister city. And five of their volunteer firefighters have landed in Oregon, alongside their mayor, to help their fellows stateside.

According to that Fire Department’s Facebook post, these men have previously trained in Southern Oregon and will be providing support, with the five firefighters the first team to be dispatched to the area.

Captain Aldo Iván Ruiz, Captain Juan Armando Alvarez Villegas, Sargent Jorge Luis Anguiano Jasso, Sargent Luis Alfonso Campos Martínez and firefighter Miguel Ángel Hernández Lara all arrived with their city’s mayor, Alejandro Navarro, on Thursday. That evening, the Guanajuato mayor said they had already begun their work, "very moved by the terrible impact of the fire on families and their homes."

Guanajuato and Ashland have been sister cities for 51 years.

Last December, Oregon firefighters joined those from several other states to help fight wildfires in Australia. Ashland has also played host to TREX trainings—Prescribed Fire Training Exchanges—which are programs run by the Nature Conservancy, inviting fire fighters from all over the world to learn about fire management techniques through controlled burns.

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