2 federal employees from Washington heading to Australia to assist with wildfires

Wildfires in Australia

Two federal employees from Washington state have been assigned to help assist with the wildfires ravaging across Australia’s southeast coast.

Dan O’Brien, Center Manager for the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center, said the two employees will be helping in a variety of aviation and operation positions while there. One of those individuals works in the Okanogan Wentachee National Forest and has been assigned as an aviation operations branch manager. The other works in the North Cascades National Park and will assist as an engine boss in Australia.

The two Washingtonians join 14 other employees from the Bureau of Land Management’s Region 6, which consists of Washington and Oregon, heading to Australia.

O’Brien said five separate requests for assistance have come to the US from Australia, with more expected as long as their critical fire season lasts.

More than 12 million acres have burned in Australia. In total, 18 people have died during this fire season.