Mike Crook of Grand Marais in Australia to fight wildfires
Jan 07, 2020 09:38AM
Photo: BBC News
From Fox 21 - January 7, 2019
Two Wildland firefighters from Minnesota have been assigned to help battle wildfires in Australia according to a recent news release from the Minnesota Incident Command System.
Mike Crook, with the Superior National Forest out of Grand Maris, MN, was assigned to Victoria in southeastern Australia last month.
Marty Cassellius, with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Midwest Regional Office in Bloomington, MN, was assigned to Victoria, Australia on Monday.
As wildfires continue to burn in Australia, the United States is sending additional U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) wildfire personnel to assist with ongoing wildfire suppression efforts in Australia. On December 30, 2019, 44 U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Department of the Interior personnel departed for Australia, and an additional 21 personnel will mobilize on January 4, 2020, to replace a previous group of U.S. fire personnel mobilized in early December.
“Our thoughts and prayers, with our deepest condolences, are with the Australia firefighters and public who have lost their lives and homes, said U.S. Forest Service Fire Director Shawna Legarza. “We are proud to provide personnel from the United States and will continue to support Australia with the resources needed during this unprecedented fire situation.”
Based on requests from the Australian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council, the U.S. has intermittently deployed more than 74 wildland USFS and DOI fire personnel throughout December with another 21 USFS and DOI personnel departing for Australia on January 4.
Both firefighters are scheduled to return later this month.
According to the release, the National Interagency Fire Center requested Crook and Cassellius based on their wildland firefighting experience and availability.
To read the original article and see related reporting, follow this link to the Fox 21 website. https://www.fox21online.com/2020/01/06/two-minnesota-firefighters-sent-to-help-australias-wildfires/