UPDATED 6:20 AM PT — Thurs. August 9, 2018
California firefighters are receiving help from their Australian and New Zealand counterparts to help battle the largest wildfire the state has ever seen.
On Wednesday, officials said they are now effectively battling the Mendocino Complex Fire after firefighters from the two countries traveled over 8,000-miles to help out.
“There’s about forty New Zealanders and about another 120 Australians here,” said New Zealand firefighter Craig Cottrill. “We got a request for help from your federal agencies so we’ve come to here to A — assist as much as we can and B — to learn a bit from the scale of what you do here, it’s amazing.”
As of Wednesday morning, the blaze burning north of San Francisco has destroyed over 300,000 acres of land across three counties and is around 30-percent contained.
High winds and extremely dry weather are making containment efforts difficult for fire crews, but visiting firefighters remain optimistic.
“It’s a significant fire, it’s a large fire, it’s a lot of resources involved in fighting the fire, but I think, positively, everyone is working together on it,” commented Australian firefighter Rob Gore. “It’s a great thing to watch all the agencies come together with a common goal.”
With the help of their global counterparts, firefighters have managed to contain some of the blaze by cutting lines around part of the fire to prevent flames from leaping into residential areas.
Although progress is being made, officials do not expect to have the fire completely under control until sometime next month.
The Mendocino Complex Fire is currently one of 18 plaguing the state.
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