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60 firefighters from Quebec in California to help battle wildfires

WASHINGTON — Sixty firefighters from Quebec have arrived in California to help battle the wildfires ravaging the state, Canada’s answer to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plea for international help with the crisis.

Marc Mousseau of the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre says the crews arrived in the state Thursday after a day-long briefing at the centre’s sister agency in Idaho.

Mousseau says the Canadians will be assigned to the North Complex cluster of lightning-sparked fires, which have burned more than 23,000 hectares in northeastern California so far and are only about 37 per cent contained.

A readout from the Prime Minister’s Office says Newsom thanked Justin Trudeau for the help when the pair spoke by phone Thursday.

They also discussed the role of climate change in what Newsom has described as one of the worst wildfire seasons in the state’s history.

Mousseau says the 60 personnel represent the total number of firefighters Canada had available at the time of the request, and that there are currently no requests from the U.S. for additional help.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 4, 2020.

The Canadian Press


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