Contact: Sterling Ivey (850) 617-7737
Chelsea Peyton Parker
Wildfire Prevention Coordinator
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Provides Fire Assistance to Western States
The Department’s Florida Forest Service Sends Firefighters to Western States to Battle Blazes
Tallahassee, FL – Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam announced today that the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Florida Forest Service is sending wildland firefighters to Oklahoma, Montana, Idaho, Nevada and Oregon to assist with wildfire suppression efforts.
“Due to rainfall in recent months, Florida’s wildfire danger levels have decreased,” said Commissioner Putnam. “Therefore, we are able to assist other states that greatly need our help. The Florida Forest Service has some of the most skilled firefighters in the country, and we gladly offer our talent and resources to help other states protect the safety of people, structures and natural resources.”
Two Initial Attack Hand Crews of 40 Florida Forest Service firefighters will assist with front-line firefighting and mop-up operations. Using shovels, axes and rakes to manually create a fire break or fire line around the wildfire, hand crews are critical to wildfire suppression in the West.
An additional 16 fire personnel will also assist in a variety of other positions. All costs incurred by the state will be reimbursed.
The department’s Florida Forest Service manages one million acres of public forest land while protecting over 26 million acres of homes, forestland and natural resources from the devastating effects of wildfire. For statewide wildfire updates and additional wildfire information, visit www.floridaforestservice.com or follow the Florida Forest Service on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/FLForestService or Twitter. http://twitter.com/FLForestService