U.S. Forest Service Shares Disaster-Preparedness Know-How with Bolivia

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U.S. firefighting expert Daniel Montoya poses for a photo with Bolivian counterparts.
U.S. firefighting expert Daniel Montoya poses for a photo with his Bolivian counterparts.

U.S. Forest Service Shares Disaster-Preparedness Know-How with Bolivia

Think Smokey the Bear only helps Americans prevent forest fires? Think again! The U.S. Forest Service cooperates with governments and publics around the world—and has a global impact. Take firefighting expert Daniel Montoya, who just returned from Bolivia last month. 

In just one week, he shared his 30 years of experience in forest-fire management with over 190 representatives from Bolivia’s public and private sector.

U.S. firefighting expert Daniel Montoya holds workshops on disaster preparedness and response in Bolivia.

See, Bolivia is very susceptible to natural disasters. Its varied topography -- mountainous highlands, dense rainforest, dry lowland plains -- mean the country faces earthquakes, landslides, and forest fires. Just one year ago, forest fires consumed over 26,000 acres of woodlands in Bolivia’s southern province of Tarija. The fires threatened the water supply of over 200,000 people, and three people perished. 

Montoya’s workshops will help Bolivians better prepare for and prevent national disasters. He discussed U.S. best practices on rapid response, incident command structure, and how technology can be used to fight natural disasters.

Coordinating on disaster response is an important way the United States cooperates with our neighbors in the region to prevent human tragedy while building trust across cultures. By sharing successes and evaluating obstacles, together we develop solutions to the challenges that affect us all.

About the Author: Anthony Miranda serves as Senior Digital Media Advisor in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs.

Editor's Note: This entry also appears in the U.S. Department of State's publication on Medium.

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Anthony Miranda

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Today, the United States Senate confirmed Philip Goldberg, Charge d'Affaires ad interim at the United States Embassy in Cuba, David Hale, United States Ambassador to Pakistan, Michele Sison, United States Ambassador to Haiti, and Daniel Smith, Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research, as Career Ambassadors. According to the Foreign Service Act of 1980, the President is empowered with the advice and consent of the Senate to confer the personal rank of Career Ambassador upon a career member of the Senior Foreign Service in recognition of especially distinguished service over a sustained period. There have only been 59 Career Ambassadors confirmed prior to 2018. In recognition of this honor, we congratulate the Ambassadors and invite you to learn more about them. Philip Goldberg