America Is Begging For Australian Firefighters To Help Them Battle Out Of Control Wildfires
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Parts of the state have been plunged into a smokey haze as lightning strikes started more than 560 fires. At least six people have died and more than 700 homes have been destroyed and experts have sent out international calls for help.
The Australian government says no official request has been made to them, but officials are expecting it in the coming days.
Californian Governor Gavin Newsom told reporters he would ask firefighters from Canada and Australia to help in the state's time of need.
He said: "Many of you will recall, I think it was 2017, the support that we were provided and the support that we provided in turn of some of the best wildfire firefighters from Australia. We also have requests out for that talent, as well."
NSW RFS spokesperson Ben Shepherd told the Brisbane Times that they will organise a taskforce when an official request is made.
He said: "Traditionally we haven't sent firefighters into the US. We have sent to Canada, but not to the US.
"We are in a pretty good position [to assist] compared to where we were at this stage last year. The consideration would just be what the request is in relation to COVID-19 and quarantine restrictions for going there and on return."
It would be a welcome reprieve to the hundreds of firefighters who are working across California to stop the wildfires from spreading.
Hundreds of American firefighters were sent to Australia during the 2019-20 bushfire season, which was one of the worst on record. They were able to give Aussie firefighters some much needed rest after battling the blazes non-stop for weeks.
If and when that official request from California comes, it will be up to Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council and Emergency Management Australia to make a call on how to proceed. Then the states and territories would have to convene a meeting and discuss what and who to send over.