CALIFORNIA - A Shasta Trinity National Forest Aviation Officer, John Casey, is headed to Australia to support fire suppression efforts, according to the Shasta Trinity National Forest.
The NF shared via Twitter that Casey is leaving Friday, Feb. 7, to help. Casey will be working as an Air Tactical Group Supervisor. He will be responsible for managing the incident airspace and coordinating the fixed-and rotary-wing aircraft operations over an incident.
The U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Department of the Interior continue to deploy wildfire personnel to assist with fire suppression efforts. Both the departments said they have sent over 200 firefighters since November of 2019.
2019 marked Australia's hottest and driest year on record, with their fire season that started in late July, according to the U.S. National Forest.
In November, the National Resource Sharing Centre requested U.S. support to help battle the crucial wildfire and aviation shortfalls in New South Wales and Victoria.
"It was humbling to observe the Australians’ resilience, the response in Australia, and level of support from our agency,” said Forest Service Director of Fire and Aviation Management Shawna Legarza. “We will continue to learn from each other in this complex fire environment.”
This announcement comes just after 20 firefighters from California returned to the United States after spending nearly a month battling wildfires in Australia.
Thousands of paid and volunteer firefighter have been working around the clock as they battle the brushfires.
In 2018, nearly 140 firefighters from Australia and New Zealand were deployed to California, Oregon, and Washington for nearly a month.
They relieved exhausted firefighters battling the deadly Carr fire near Redding, California, and assisted with helicopter operations. The last time US firefighters worked in Australia was 2010.