United States Forest Service Experts in Portugal

United States Forest Service (USFS) experts will be visiting Portugal this week, as part of the U.S. Embassy’s continued efforts to support Portugal in the aftermath of the wildfires that hit Portugal this summer. With its elite wildland firefighting team and the world’s largest forestry research organization, the USFS aims to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of forests and grasslands.

USFS experts Tom Frey and Liz Schnackenberg will meet with Mission Structure for the Integrated Rural Fires Management System installation President Tiago Oliveira, as well as with their Portuguese agency counterparts, Portuguese Forest Service (ICNF), Civil Protection, and visit the emergency stabilization pilot station of burned areas, as well as intervention areas with work in progress.

U.S. Forest Service Hydrologist Liz Schnackenberg will travel to some of the most affected areas, including Alvarenga, Lousã, Oliveira do Hospital and Mação. USFS and USAID Foreign Disaster expert Tom Frey will be meeting with the Civil Protection to discuss aerial coordination and initial attack helicrews,  among other topics. The team will also visit the Firefighters National School.

The United States continues to reaffirm its unwavering support for Portugal and its people in the follow up to these difficult times.  We once again extend our deepest condolences to the victims of this tragedy, their families, and their communities.   The courage and dedication of Portuguese firefighters, first responders, and all others who are committed to saving lives and protecting property is inspiring.

Tom Frey
has over 30 years of experience in disaster management at both the domestic and international level. Frey has worked in many areas of wildland fire management including dispatch/coordination and fire training, and since 1986, he has worked on foreign disasters. Frey has led US teams for wildfires to Australia, Mexico, Israel, Indonesia, and Chile.

Liz Schnackenberg has over 20 years of experience working as a hydrologist for the US Forest Service.  Her work focuses on the effects of land management activities on watershed hydrology and wetland/riparian condition, and she is a member of the Colorado Riparian Training Cadre.

Media outlets interested in receiving more information should contact the U.S. Embassy Press Office at 21 770 2439 or by e-mail to morenomv@state.gov