Florida Sends 30 Firefighters, Personnel To Help Fight Oregon, California Wildfires

Aug 6, 2013

A Florida Forest Service member performs a prescribed burn. Florida firefighters are going to Oregon to assist with wildfires there.
Credit Florida Forest Service

The Florida Forest Service is sending 30 firefighters and other staff to help fight wildfires in Oregon and California. The state has people to spare because this year’s rain has reduced the number of fire outbreaks in Florida.

Department of Agriculture spokeswoman Erin Gillespie says Florida offered up its extra personnel by adding them to a nationwide database that she says is like a "Match.com for firefighters."

“This year, especially because of the extraordinary amount of rain we’ve had here in Florida, the fire risk is low, and we’ve been able to sign up to send some of our employees out there to help," she says.

Gillespie says the firefighters come from across Florida. Two dozen of them will be joining firefighters in Oregon working to contain blazes covering several thousand acres there.

Last month, state forester Jim Karels headed up the investigation into the deaths of 19 firefighters in Arizona.