US California firefighters are heading to Australia to battle deadly brushfires on the ground

02:25  05 january  2020
02:25  05 january  2020 Source:   cnn.com

Tourists, firefighters flee as new heatwave fans Australia blazes

  Tourists, firefighters flee as new heatwave fans Australia blazes Tourists and firefighters were forced to flee vast fires burning in southeastern Australia on Monday, as a heatwave rekindled devastating bush blazes across the country. "Winds are gusting and unfortunately this is a dry lightning front that is going to move rapidly across South Australia," he told national broadcaster ABC. Authorities said "quite a number" of the 30,000 tourists visiting the usually picturesque southeast tip of the continent had heeded calls to evacuate.

The destructive fires have been fueled by dry conditions and fierce winds.

More than 20 firefighters will answer a call for more help to battle bush fires that have devastated parts of Australia . Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that 22 firefighters will head across the ditch next Wednesday after a formal request was received from the Australian Government.

Twenty veteran California firefighters are heading to Australia as the first US ground crew to battle out-of-control wildfires that have killed at least 23 people.

a group of people standing around a fire: Crew members from the Angeles National Forest will offer on-the-ground support.© US Forest Service Crew members from the Angeles National Forest will offer on-the-ground support.

The Angeles National Forest crew will deploy from Los Angeles on Monday, the US Forest Service reports.

The US has sent dozens of managers to Australia already, but this team is thought to be the first that puts shovels in the ground to dig fire breaks, starts back fires with drip torch cans, and hikes dusty miles in rough terrain.

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In California , more than 15,000 firefighters are battling 18 large wildfires. Firefighters from New Zealand and Australia flew in and are on the ground to

A crew of 20 veteran firefighters based in California will head to Australia on Monday to help battle the country's out-of-control wildfires that have killed at least 23 people and scorched millions of acres. The crew of federal firefighters based in the Angeles National Forest north of Los Angeles.

"I'm looking forward to the opportunity to reciprocate to our Australian brothers and sisters for the same assistance they've given us for many years," said fire technician Jonathan Merager.

Australia and New Zealand have been sending firefighters to the United States for more than 15 years, the Forest Service says. The most recent example was in August 2018, when 138 arrived, a federal spokeswoman said. The last time US firefighters worked in Australia was 2010.

Australia and California firefighters battle a similar menace: flaming eucalyptus trees that can shoot off and send dangerous burning embers miles in strong winds. The eucalyptus leaves in Australia are bigger and can send flames farther, heightening the danger.

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  Australia fires: There's a blaze in Victoria state the size of Manhattan Three Australian wildfires have combined into a single blaze bigger than New York's Manhattan, on what may be the most catastrophic day yet this bushfire season.Microsoft News US is supporting Microsoft News Australia in its campaign to help respond to the devastating bushfires that are ravaging the country. Together we are raising funds for Australian Red Cross, St Vincent De Paul Society and The Salvation Army. These organizations are helping communities across the country. You can help by donating here . For the latest news on this disaster from MSN Australia, visit  Bushfire emergency.

Dozens of firefighters from Australia and New Zealand depart for the United States to help crews battle deadly blazes that have scorched the country's

Firefighters from Southern California are deploying to Australia in the fight against bushfires that have forced one of the largest evacuations in the country’s The firefighters , who come from all parts of the Los Angeles area, battled the Saddle Ridge Fire in October in the northern San Fernando Valley.

Videos from Australia have shown vast stands of trees blazing like roman candles, giant walls of flame sealing off residents of a beach town, and the national symbols of Australia, including kangaroos, running for cover.

Dozens of US fire managers will help in Australia, including some leaving Saturday, but the Angeles crew is unique in its infantry-like capabilities. The Forest Service says the hand-picked 20-person unit includes full-time firefighters with crew boss experience.

"They work on engine crews, hot-shot crews, aviation helicopters crews, and they often work in remote places, independently with little support," said Robert Garcia, Angeles National Forest Chief. "They are used to traveling, breaking up into small squads, doing initial attack -- meaning attacking fires early before they become a large fire."

Garcia, who is not going to Australia, said the unit is made up of firefighters from several stations in the mountains over Los Angeles.

The Angeles Forest crew deployment is expected to last 30 to 45 days.

Merager, an 18-year Forest Service veteran, said Australians will provide much of the equipment, such as tools for digging fire lines and drip torch cans used for setting backfires.

"I've talked to local firefighters on the ground in Australia," said Merager. "They take safety, firefighting in the forest as seriously as we do. And that's encouraging."

Australia's indigenous people have a solution for the country's bushfires. And it's been around for tens and thousands of years .
The fires in Australia have been burning for months, consuming nearly 18 million acres of land, causing thousands to evacuate and killing potentially millions of animals. They're showing minimal signs of slowing down. The Australian state of New South Wales, where both Sydney and Canberra are located, declared a state of emergency this week, as worsening weather conditions could lead to even greater fire danger.But a 50,000-year-old solution could exist: Aboriginal burning practices.Here's how it works.

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