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.
A group of firefighters just landed from Guanajuato, Mexico to help fight the fires in Southern Oregon ♥️ pic.twitter.com/6Q7Gzfnwjb— Ambar Rodriguez (@AmbarKTVL) September 10, 2020
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.
Mayor Alejandro Navarro from #Guanajuato Mexico and five specialized firefighters will report to Ashland #Oregon to receive directions and to be appointed to volunteer aid work with the wildfires. Guanajuato Mexico - Ashland Oregon have been sister cities for 51 years. 🇺🇸🇲🇽 pic.twitter.com/wh66BAtwHz— Ricki Ruiz (@ricki4oregon) September 10, 2020
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."
Primer día del equipo de #GuanajuatoCapital en #Ashland. Iniciamos la labor de apoyo, muy conmovidos por el terrible impacto del fuego en las familias y sus hogares.— Alejandro Navarro (@ANavarroMX) September 11, 2020
Nos reunimos con Chela Tapp, impulsora de este hermanamiento hace 51 años.#PrayForAshland pic.twitter.com/TwL43Xe0GB
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.