Virginia forestry staff head west to help fight historic blazes

Virginia

Cal Fire Capts. Derek Leong, right, and Tristan Gale monitor a firing operation, where crews set a ground fire to stop a wildfire from spreading, while battling the Dixie Fire in Lassen National Forest, Calif., on Monday, July 26, 2021. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Thirty-nine employees of the Virginia Department of Forestry are heading to the West Coast to assist crews there as they fight enormous wildfires.

In a press release, Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry said, “Conditions are very physically demanding, but these are some of Virginia’s most experienced wildland firefighters.”

Firefighters will ship out for 14 days at a time, flying to remote locations to help contain the blaze.

John Miller, director of fire and emergency response with the Department of Forestry, said the hands-on experience firefighters get during this time “makes them better prepared to deal with the management of emergency incidents here in the Commonwealth.”

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