Local firefighters off to battle flames in Australia

MEDFORD, Ore. — A handful of firefighters have been sent to fight fires in Australia over the past month.

Now, the country is asking for more help.

Over nine million acres have been destroyed and millions of animals have been killed in the fires.

The U.S. government is sending 3 incident management teams, each with about 10 people.

One team is from California, the second from Washington and Oregon, and the third from the Great Basin.

Two of the firefighters are from the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest.

“They’ve come help us, so it’s only right that we help them,” said Betty Smith, a firefighter with the Rogue-River Siskiyou National Forest.

Smith says there will be differences in how the country fights fires. She says that will take some adjusting to, such as the metric system and how they operate aircraft.

The team will be leaving on Thursday and staying for about a month.

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