Eighteen Forest Service employees from the Rocky Mountain Region are preparing to go to Australia to help firefighters battle about 2.6 million acres in wildland fires now burning throughout the country.Two-point-six million acres. Colorado folks remember the Hayman Fire, which choked Denver during the worst of the drought in 2002. That was the biggest wildfire in Colorado history, and it burned only 140,000 acres. The News picks up:
They are preparing to join nearly 100 interagency crew members and include two infrared technicians to assist with aerial monitoring, one person for a management role, and 15 crew members to round out a 20-person interagency Type 1 crew.Not a massive contingent, but still, pretty cool.
"We are honored to send some of our best firefighters to assist the Australian government," said Rick Cables, Rocky Mountain Regional Forester. "Their willingness to help another country during extreme conditions demonstrates their professionalism and dedication to the mission . . . ."
Fires in Australia are fueled by extended drought and hot temperatures and currently are burning east and northwest of Melbourne, the capitol of the state of Victoria.Update: Howdy, Caz! (Caz lives in Melbourne.)
Update II: And I'm not sucking up to the Aussies all of a sudden. It's just a coinkidink that this story showed up the day after TIM BLAIR linked to the Drunkablog. (Don't worry, it'll never happen again.)