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Florida firefighters sent to help in California

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(KGPE via CNN)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Forest Service has deployed 20 “hand crew” firefighters to help suppress a wildfire in California’s Sierra National Forest, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said Wednesday.

“There are currently 140 wildfires burning throughout the western United States, and our firefighters are ready to support suppression efforts in any way we can to help protect California’s residents, homes and wildlife,” Jim Karels, director of the Florida Forest Service and state forester, said in a prepared statement.

The deployment is the latest for the agency, as 47 other Forest Service firefighters are helping battle wildfires in Texas, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Nevada, California, Oregon and Wyoming.

Since the start of the year, the Forest Service, which is part or the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, has deployed 127 wildland firefighters across the country.