Montana firefighters deployed to Australia
As a result a catastrophic string of wildfires decimating the east coast of Australia, some so hot and so active as to create their own weather systems, more than 12 million acres of land have been scorched, 2,000 homes have been destroyed and 24 people along with an estimated billion animals have been killed. With intensifying international attention and cries for governments worldwide to take stronger stands in combatting what scientists are calling a changing climate, firefighters from outside Australia have been deployed Down Under to fight the blazes. Montana firefighters, including three from the Bureau of Land Management, one from Fish and Wildlife Service and 13 from the U.S. Forest Service’s Northern Region, have been in Australia for as long as 35 days in some cases, more than two weeks longer than the typical two week commitment, reports ABC Fox Montana. Their roles include mid- to high-level fire managers. Many of those firefighters, deployed through an agreement between the U.S., Australia and New Zealand, will return home this weekend.