Florida Forest Service Sends Crews to Battle Wildfire in California

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News Release: Florida Forest Service
Jun 29, 2015

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam announced today that the Florida Forest Service, a division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, has sent 40 wildland firefighters to assist with wildfire suppression efforts in California.

“Florida Forest Service wildland firefighters are a key component and valuable asset among the national firefighting community. We are committed to protecting lives, homes and natural resources from the devastating effects of wildfire both at home and abroad,” said Commissioner Adam H. Putnam.

On Saturday, two initial-attack hand crews, consisting of 35 Florida Forest Service wildland firefighters and five firefighters from partnering agencies, travelled to California, where they will receive assignment to the highest priority wildfire. Hand crews assist with front-line firefighting and mop-up operations using hand tools such as shovels, axes and rakes to manually create a fire break or fire line around the wildfire perimeter.

“This type of work can be exhausting and hazardous due to California's extreme terrain and intense flames. By assisting other states, our wildland firefighters will build upon their first-class training and experience to become an even stronger firefighting organization for the citizens of Florida,” said Jim Karels, State Forester.

The Florida Forest Service manages more than one million acres of public forestland while protecting 26 million acres of homes, forestland and natural resources from the devastating effects of wildfire. Learn more about the Florida Forest Service HERE.

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