About 100 firefighters from Australia and New Zealand are traveling to the U.S. on Friday to assist exhausted crews battling wildfires in the U.S. northwest.
Fires are currently burning across 1.4 million acres in 13 states, driven by windy conditions and a dry, hot summer.
The biggest is the Carr Fire in Northern California, which has killed six people, including two firefighters, and prompted the evacuation of 37,000 from their homes.
“We are very appreciative of the Australian and New Zealand firefighters for their availability to assist us with our current fire situation,” said Dan Smith, the chair of the U.S.’s National Multi-Agency Coordinating Group. “Because of the current level of commitment and forecast, having fire management expertise from Australian and New Zealand with specialized experienced firefighters will be of tremendous help as we continue suppressing ongoing fires.”
Firefighters were last mobilized from Australia and New Zealand in 2015, according to the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, where the firefighters will be briefed before being sent to battle wildfires. The last time U.S. fire personnel traveled to Australia was in 2010.