Forty forestry firefighters are in California right now battling wildfires. Additional Florida firefighters are also helping to fight wildfires in other states along the west coast, and more are on the way.
Florida Forest Service Director Jim Karels says California’s need is similar to some tough active wildfire seasons Florida endured in the past.
“Very extreme drought that caused us to resources in every year from all over the country, and it’s kind of the same thing that California is going through right now,” said Karels. “They’re in a four, five year drought that is taxing them beyond their ability to deal with within the state.”
The Florida Forest Service has sent two crews made up of 20 wildland firefighters each to California to assist on the frontlines. And, Oregon will soon be the latest to get Florida help.
“They were asking for some positions that primarily help manage firefighter aviation resources, and we’ve got some of them. It won’t be a real large number yet,” added Karels. “But, if our activity continues to improve, if we continue to get rain in Florida, the chances of sending more crews in large numbers is highly probable because the west is escalating every day right now.”
Crews were also recently sent to Alaska, Washington state, and North Carolina.
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