A crew of 20 employees and volunteers from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation are enroute to the western U.S. to help fight the massive wildfires continuing to blaze across much of the region.
The crew mostly consists of State Forest Rangers. They’ll receive their assignment once they arrive and join nearly 9,000 troops from other states already battling more than 100 high priority wildfires in states including Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.
Governor Cuomo says all associated costs for the deployment will be covered or reimbursed by the U.S. Forest Service.
“No matter the emergency, the State of New York is always willing to assist other states in times of need and today we are sending this courageous crew to the Northwest to help deal with wildfires,” Governor Cuomo said. “I am proud of these 20 dedicated individuals who stepped up to volunteer and help combat these devastating fires and on behalf of all New Yorkers, I thank them for their service.”
New York State first sent a firefighting crew to help with wildfires in the western states in 1979 and has periodically continued to do so over the years.
In 2017, New York sent 60 firefighters to several western states to battle three separate fires.
“I commend our Forest Rangers, staff, and volunteers for their selfless service to volunteer to help contain these wildfires and protect precious natural resources and live,” said Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos. “The work of DEC’s firefighting team serves as a great example of how states can work together and share resources during times of adversity. For 40 years, New York has stood ready and willing to assist other states in their time of need.”