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Florida Sends 40 Additional Firefighters To Help Fight Wildfires In Other States

Florida Forest Service

More firefighters are leaving Florida to help fight wildfires in other states. The Florida Forest Service sent 30 firefighters and staff to California and Oregon earlier this week and 40 more will leave the state Saturday. Florida Department of Agriculture Spokeswoman Erin Gillespie says it’s not unusual to send that many firefighters to other states.

“Now, some years, Florida has a really bad fire season, we bring in firefighters from other states to help us. So, it just depends on the fire season.”

The deployed firefighters are expected to touch down in Utah, where they will receive assignments sending them to the various western states battling wildfires.

“They’ll [hand crews] be working to create what they call firebreaks, which is they’ll dig trenches and get grass trees out of the way so that the fire no longer has something to feed off of. So, they’re actually going to be building trenches around the fire to stop the fires from spreading. So, these are boots on the ground that will be battling the fires,” Gillespie added.

Gillespie says Florida can lend its resources to other states because this year, Florida hasn’t seen a high wildfire season, unlike years past.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on twitter @SaschaCordner.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.