Southern California firefighters are joining the battle against Australia’s devastating fires


LOS ANGELES (KNBC/NBC News) — Firefighters from Southern California will soon head to help battle those ferocious bushfires burning in Australia.

The Angeles National Forest is sending 20 firefighters to fight flames that have forced one of the largest evacuations in the country’s history.

“You look at the scope and scale about what we are facing, it’s really hard to really wrap your head around,” said Robert Garcia, Fire Chief, Angeles National Forest.

The firefighters come from all parts of the Los Angeles area and are among 70 federal personnel from all over the U.S. heading to help.

The California group will fly out of the Los Angeles International Airport on Monday.

“The climate is going to be very similar, the fuels are going to be different, but we are just going to have to pace ourselves,” said John Merager, Angeles National Forest firefighter.

Merager added that the Angeles forest crews will work closely with local firefighters once on the ground in Australia and follow their actions.

“If you see them tucking their pants into their boots, they are probably doing it for the leeches or the snakes out there,” he said. “So follow suit.”

In Australia, about 12 million acres of land have burned and at least 19 people have been killed.

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