Arizona firefighters in Australia

Koreena Haynes, left, of the Bureau of Land Management in Arizona is assisting in Australia as an engine boss.

KINGMAN — Australia is facing some of the worst wildfires in its history, fires that have had devastating results.

Since the fires have gotten so bad, fire departments from around the world have lent a hand in the form of personnel to help Australian fire departments.

A couple of those firefighters are Brady Shultz, from the Bureau of Land Management Arizona’s Colorado River District in Kingman, and Koreena Haynes, from the BLM Arizona State Office in Phoenix.

The BLM said that other Department of the Interior agencies and the U.S. Forest Service also have been sending personnel from across the country to assist ongoing wildfire suppression efforts in Australia.

Both Shultz and Haynes deployed just after the new year to assist fire engines in the Australian state of Victoria, reported the BLM. 

The BLM in Arizona currently has four fire personnel in Australia with plans to send more in the coming weeks.

“Australia has come to help us when we needed an extra hand during our most extreme fire season, now it’s our turn to go help them in their time of need,” said Kelly Castillo, BLM Arizona’s state fire management officer, in a prepared statement. 

The BLM said that fire personnel from the U.S. have been going to assist with critical needs for mid-level fire management roles, including engine operations, aviation operations, fire operation managers, logistical management specialists and strategic fire planners. More recent deployments have included 20-person firefighting crews and sawyers.

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