U.S., Canadian Fire Agencies Deploy Help to Australia
More than two dozen people and one billion animals have died
The wildfires ravaging Australia have burned more than 20 million acres (8.4 hectares) , killed a billion animals and more than two dozen people, and destroyed nearly 2,000 homes. With the fire season expected to get worse in coming weeks, U.S. and Canadian fire agencies have sent in reinforcements to help their Australian counterparts battle these massive blazes.
“We’ve sent 159 firefighters who do everything from overhead to fire management to on-the-ground firefighters,” said Carrie Bilbao, a public affairs specialist at the U.S.-based National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC).
Similarly, the nonprofit Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre has deployed 95 people to Australia. “None of the 95 we have sent are front-line firefighters,” said Melanie Morin, CIFFC information officer. “We sent people to assume positions such as incident commander; personnel for logistics, for operations, for planning, and for fire behavior analysis. We’ve sent several personnel in aviation.”
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