Firefighters from Australia and New Zealand have been sent to the US to help local authorities battle the deadly fires sweeping across California.
As many as 188 Australian personnel are bound for the US where 100 fires are burning across 13 states. Among them are fire management specialists and helicopter pilots.
President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency over the weekend as the fire ravaged the city of Redding in Northern California.
According to the most recent incident information published by Cal Fire , the blaze has spread across 51,360 hectares (126,913 acres) with only around 37% of the blaze contained.
The fire is so powerful that it’s even creating its own weather patterns — it has produced what some scientists are calling a fire tornado.
— ABC10 (@ABC10) July 27, 2018
New South Wales Emergency Services Minister Troy Grant said the Australians were “highly trained and have experience dealing with the type of fires that are currently threatening the US west coast.
“The request to have them help out is a testament to their professionalism, training and expertise.”
According to the Australian Productivity Commission, Australia experiences an average of 54,000 bushfires each year. With just 6% started by natural causes.
The worst fire in recent memory was the Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria which spanned 450,000 hectares, killing 180 people and injuring 414 others.
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