Montana firefighters headed to California to battle wildfires

Posted at 12:33 PM, Aug 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-02 14:33:07-04

COLUMBUS- Montana fire crews are heading to battle wildfires in California.

This week, departments from Columbus, Missoula, Livingston, and Butte announced on social media they were sending firefighters and resources to help with emergency management assistance.

The Montana crews won’t be tackling the Carr fire near Redding, which has been the deadliest so far this season. Instead, they’re headed about 200 miles south for the 90,00-acre Mendocino complex fire.

"The need is great there so were making personnel available here to go out there. And, depending on what you’re doing on a fire, you’re driving or flying out, and you’re spending 14 to 21 days on assignment helping there. It’s not entirely altruistic because we have every expectation that our fire season in Montana is going to pick up and other areas that are quieter can help when we ask for it," said Al Nash, a spokesman for the Montana office of the Bureau of Land Management.

In addition, about 200 firefighters from Australia and New Zealand are coming to battle West Coast fires.

Nash said firefighters will likely be in California for a couple months assisting where needed.