Firefighters and forest fire experts from around the world will gather in Korea to discuss effective measures to respond to wildfires and how to boost international cooperation on forest fires. The sixth International Wildland Fire Conference (IWFC) will be held under the theme of “Fire of the Past, Fire in Future” from Oct. 12 to 16 at the Alpensia Resort in Pyeongchang-gun County, Gangwon-do Province.
About 3,000 forest fire experts from 80 countries will attend the upcoming conference, the first time it is ever held in Asia. Attendees include representatives from international organizations, such as Margareta Wahlström, a special representative for the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Disaster Risk Reduction at the U.N.
During the conference, Korea will share with the world its technology and know-how in responding to forest fires. A wildfire firefighting demonstration will be jointly held on Oct. 14 by the Korea Forest Service, the Forest Aviation Headquarters, the Ministry of National Defense, the Korean National Police Agency, the Ministry of Public Safety & Security and Pyeongchang County. The demonstration will include extinguishing a wildfire and lifesaving training, as well as putting out a fire from the air using helicopters deep in the woods. Based on its accumulated experience, Korea will share its home-built Mountain Fire Pumping Suppression System using special machinery. The demonstration will make use of special vehicles to fight wildfires that were designed to help to put out fires deep in the forests and mountains rapidly and safely. Such forest fire firefighting technologies and techniques are expected to be helpful to countries that have similar geography to the Korean Peninsula.
Minister Shin Won-Sop, head of the Korea Forest Service, said, “Representatives from 80 governments and international organizations, experts and scholars will visit Korea for the upcoming conference, the first-ever to be held in Asia. We will do our best to ensure the conference is a success.”
More information about the conference is available at the IWFC’s homepage.
By Yoon Sojung
Korea.net Staff Writer
Photos: Korea Forest Service