Australia, NZ firefighters fly out to battle deadly California wildfires

Australia, NZ firefighters fly out to battle deadly California wildfires

The current USA fire season has been exacerbated by excessively dry and hot weather conditions, resulting in intense fire fronts and dangerously low percentages of fire containment.

"The fuels are flashier than they are here", said Karels, the Florida Forest Service Director. "We're in uncharted territory".

Inmate firefighters usually make up roughly one third of the state's wildfire-fighting crews - that is closer to about a quarter at present as the total deployment includes crews from out of state and overseas - and, in addition to fighting fires, also work on park maintenance, reforestation, and fire and flood protection.

"We're in for a really rough ride, and it's going to get expensive, it's going to get risky", Brown said.

The largest blaze burned in the Redding area, in Shasta County north of Sacramento.

However, authorities who had feared there might be more casualties reported on Wednesday (Thursday NZT) that all those who had been reported missing had been located. The more than 62,000-acre blaze was 39 percent contained this afternoon.

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"Grass Valley firefighters found a dish and provided the two newfound friends with fresh water", Grass Valley Fire Fire Chief Mark Buttron wrote in an online post.

"The need to protect these requiring more firefighters, more resources all the time", Pimlott said.

Meanwhile, at least three new fires erupted on Wednesday (Thursday NZT) in the Sierra Nevada region, including a blaze in Placer County that had consumed 1000 acres or 4 square kilometres of land. This is happening about 200 miles north of San Francsico.

Strong gusts kicking up along the upper ridge lines on Wednesday night were a cause for concern on the fire's rugged western flanks, a few miles from the town of Lewiston, which remained evacuated. They burned 14 homes and threatened 12,000 more.

Along with a bulldozer contract employee and a Redding firefighter killed in the Carr Fire, the captain of a wildland hotshots team and a Cal Fire heavy equipment operator have been killed in the Ferguson fire burning near Yosemite in Mariposa County. The nearby Ranch Fire also broke out Friday and has burned almost 75,000 acres.

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