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Fuelling the Policy – From groundwork to an international audience

It cannot be stressed enough: More than 100 participants from 22 countries gathered in the Polish forest to attend the SNEP (EN: Association of Independent Fire Expert) Forest camp, an initiative supported by EFI, PCF and IAWF. This is not only a great number, but it also proves the incredible teamwork of the forest fire community, where instructors share knowledge and capacity to train future experts and trainers of forest fire management. The forest fire community consists of more than people actually fighting the fire. Therefore, SNEP organized the forest camp in Gubin, close to the German border and invited next to firefighters, foresters, policy advisors, scientists, students, and journalists. The Exchange of Expert took place between 27-29 May, and was co-organized by the WKR project the second year in a row.


The concept of this Forest Camp:

Nine instructors from South Africa, the US, Spain, Ireland, Wales and Germany with plenty of experience in fire management and capacity building, provided the participants hands-on training on tactics, techniques, fire behaviour, and hand tools in realistic fire scenarios. While in the background the SNEP Team facilitates the training days, ensuring the communication amongst the instructors and providing all technical equipment.

Eight crews, each consisting of 10 people, were briefed and prepared for the main camp day, where real fire scenarios forced the participants to apply the knowledge under the expert´s guidance. The exercises ranged from live fire, portable pumps, progressive hose lay, pump-and-roll, fireline constructions, innovative technologies, first aid trainings and the use of handtools.




Above all, the sharing of experiences, skills and knowledge is something significantly natural for the fire management community. Not only are less experienced participants and newcomers welcome, but the team spirit is a substantial characteristic for all of them. Knowing that the knowledge has to be shared with more people, allowing to train multipliers and the future generation of wildland fire and forest managers.

International cooperation, gathering best practices and expertise, aiming to share scientific developments and fire knowledge- all this is to “fuel” the progress of international networks and frameworks that will help a growing number of stakeholders and communities to better prepare for fire events and put more emphasis and capacities to the holistic approach of integrated fire management.




The international but yet close collaboration amongst so many different countries is nothing but inspiring and beneficial- it has been another great experience and we are already very much looking forward to next year!!

Thank you, SNEP, for your dedication and all the hard work you have put into organising this camp!


For more impressions from the Exchange of Experts, we encourage you to watch the short video with impressive drone footage from the Forest Camp! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVLTcFML-vI

Or check out the photo stream https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=767023311917186&set=pcb.767031938582990


Photo credits (in this blogpost): Maria Schloßmacher

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