Nearly 200 firefighters from Australia and New Zealand arrived in Redding on Monday to assist with the destructive wildfires across Northern California. It remains unclear exactly which fires the firefighters will assist with, but we can assume that they will assist with the destructive Carr Fire and probably the massive Mendocino Complex Fire as well.
Currently more than 15,000 firefighters are battling 18 large wildfires across the state that have burned more than 559,000 acres and are threatening 17,000 homes.
Before they head to the frontlines, the firefighters joined with local agencies to get them accustomed to the ways of California firefighting. While the science and strategy of firefighting remains the same across most of the world, the terminology is different.
“We are very appreciative of the Australian and New Zealand firefighters for their availability to assist us with our current fire situation,” the chair of the U.S.’s National Multi-Agency Coordinating Group Dan Smith told Yahoo. “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.”
The firefighters bring experience on destructive fires in their home countries. In 2012, firefighters in Australia saw a “Firenado” similar to the one that occurred in the Carr Fire on July 26th.
There are currently three fires that are ravaging Northern California. The Mendocino Complex Fire now sits as the 2nd largest fire in California’s history and has burned 274,000 acres and is now 20 percent contained. The Carr Fire is the 6th most destructive fire in California history, destroying 1,600 structures and burning over 160,000 acres. The Ferguson Fire has closed down much of Yosemite National Park, burning over 90,000 acres in Mariposa county.
We extend the warmest of welcomes to our foreign firefighter friends. Thanks for the help and stay safe out there!