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Still more Florida Forest firefighters heading west to battle blazes

Another 36 firefighters with the Florida Forest Service will be helping to put out wildfires in the western United States.

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, who oversees the Forest Service, announced the move Friday. A total of 96 state forest firefighters now are deployed in the West, spokeswoman Jenn Meale said Friday evening.

The Forest Service firefighters are part of a Type 2 Incident Management Team that will help combat 62 large fires, and they will be assigned to specific locations by the National Interagency Fire Center, according to a press release.

“Our nation’s firefighters have worked diligently and tirelessly to keep our natural resources, citizens and property out of harm’s way during one of the worst wildfire seasons we’ve seen,” Putnam said in a statement.

Added State Forester Jim Karels: “Florida Interagency Incident Management Teams have an exceptionally high level of training and experience in all aspects of wildfire suppression. Despite the severity of this year’s wildfire season, our firefighters have the ability to successfully battle the large fires raging across the western United States.”

Type 1 and Type 2 IMTs undergo rigorous training, so they can successfully address complex emergencies at the state and national level, he said.

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