TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Twenty Florida firefighters are heading to Washington as part of continued efforts to help the western state battle ongoing blazes.
The announcement Thursday from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumers Services, which includes the Florida Forest Service, came as 40 other firefighters returned from western assignments.
"Thanks to sustained low fire activity in Florida, we are able to share our skilled firefighters with our western partners while continuing to provide for the safety of Florida's residents and visitors," Agriculture commissioner Adam Putnam said in a news release.
The state has said that by assisting other regions, Florida wildland firefighters build their expertise.
Florida, on average, experiences about 4,000 wildfires a year. In addition to the latest deployment, there are 74 other Florida Forest Service employees helping with firefighting efforts in California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming.