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Fire In Tecate Highlights Cross-Border Collaboration

Audio

Aired 9/28/10

There are U.S.-Mexico partnerships in trade, health and in the fight against drugs. When it comes to fighting fires, the protocol for collaboration is even easier -- they just have to ask.

A CalFire firefighter at a gathering of local and fire officials held at Marian Bear National Memorial Park.
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Above: A CalFire firefighter at a gathering of local and fire officials held at Marian Bear National Memorial Park.

— There are U.S.-Mexico partnerships in trade, health and in the fight against drugs. When it comes to fighting fires, the protocol for collaboration is even easier -- they just have to ask.

"We had the Harris fire in 2007 and they came up, they assisted us in the final suppression efforts," says Kelly Zombro, a deputy chief with Cal Fire. "So it does go both ways, it just depends on who's got the fires and who's got the threat -- lately they've been having a lot of fires."

According to the cross-border partnership, firefighters can cross one mile into Mexico. They have to contact the U.S. embassy in Mexico to go further.

"Cal Fire and the firefighters in Mexico have a cooperative relationship -- yesterday a request was put in to assist east of Tecate," adds Nick Schuller, a batallion chief. "That fire has burned more than 500 acres in Mexico and our firefighters are actually there today actively fighting that fire as well as all of last night."

Cal Fire sent 26 firefighters and five trucks to fight the brush fire east of Tecate. The fire is holding to the Mexico side. It has injured at least one Mexican firefighter.

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