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Forty Additional Florida Firefighters To Help Battle Western Wildfires

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Florida Forest Service
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The Florida Forest Service is sending 40 more wildland firefighters west this weekend to help battle blazes in Oregon, California, and Idaho.

The latest group follows an initial deployment of 28 firefighters and personnel announced on Monday.

“We are proud to offer the expertise of the Florida Forest Service to help states that are battling severe wildfires,” said Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam in a statement.

On Saturday, two Initial Attack Hand Crews totaling 40 firefighters will fly to Salt Lake City, Utah, accompanied by three additional interagency hand crews from Puerto Rico, Georgia and South Carolina.

The crews will receive fire assignments throughout the western states based on priority and fire activity.

Hand crews assist with front-line firefighting operations by using shovels, axes and rakes to manually create a fire break or fire line around a wildfire.

Putnam said that the experience gained by the firefighters will strengthen their ability to protect residents and resources in Florida.