Mexican Firefighters Arrive In California To Battle Wildfires
Firefighters from Mexico have travelled to California to help battle the devastating wildfires continuing to spread across the state.
At least 26 major fires are currently burning across California, having so far destroyed more than 3.4 million acres of land in what has been the worst year on record in terms of the amount of land burnt.
The crews from Mexico’s Comisión Nacional Forestal (CONAFOR) will be battling to bring the Sequoia Complex Fire under control, with the blaze spanning more than 144,000 acres. As of Thursday, September 24, it was only 35% contained.
The US Forest Service in California welcomed at least 100 firefighters from Mexico on Wednesday, September 23, at San Bernardino International Airport. Then, after one night rest of rest, the crews mobilised to fight the blaze.
It comes after five teams of 20 trained, equipped firefighters from Guadalajara, Mexico, answered the call for help from the National Interagency Fire Center. Fire personnel were also requested from Canada & the US Military to assist with wildfires in both California and Oregon.
‘Fires do not have borders, fires do not have different languages and cultures,’ Eduardo Cruz, National Fire Director of CONAFOR, said. ‘In the end we all speak the same language when it comes to fighting fire.’
Deputy Regional Forester Tony Scardina said in a video shared on Twitter:
Here in southern California we received the crews from the National Forestry Commission of Mexico, and it’s really an honour to have them.
At our request through the National Interagency Fire Center we were able to have them, through our partnership, come work with us and help us with the unprecedented fire situation.
We’re proud to have them here and [we] thank you for coming to help us.
Fire suppression resources from several Canadian provinces, totalling 291 fire specialists, were also deployed to western wildfires last weekend.
The country also supplied five agency representatives, eight helicopter managers, three heavy equipment bosses, 24 task force leaders, 15 supervisors and 18 fire engines.
Elsewhere, 200 active duty Marines and Sailors were sent to assist with the wildfires, all of whom received wildland firefighting training before assisting with response efforts on the Creek Fire in the Sierra National Forest.
There are currently more than 18,200 firefighters on the front lines battling the blazes, with Cal Fire saying crews ‘continue to gain ground on these fires’.
Since August 15, when California’s fire activity elevated, there have been 26 fatalities and more than 6,700 structures have been destroyed. There have been more than 8,000 fires since the start of the year.
Our thoughts are with those affected by these devastating fires.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]