The Iowa Department of Natural Resources Forestry Bureau dispatched two wildfire engines to California on Monday, beginning an 18 day rotation for the crews helping to battle wildfires in northern and southern California.
The crews are made up of eight Iowans from all walks of life that are all certified by the National Wildfire Coordinating Group. Crews battling the wildfires will work on a two week rotation to avoid fatigue.
This isn’t the first group of Iowans battling wildfires. There are 15 Iowans working on hand crews in Idaho and Montana and one serving as an EMT on a wildfire in Alaska.
The DNR sends its wildfire engines to other states when requested by the U.S. Forest Service, including as recently as two years ago when a trip to fight wildfires in Texas stretched from May to November.
This year more than 3.3 million acres have burned across the country, according to the National Interagency Fire Center, compared to the 10-year average of more than 5.3 million acres burned at this point in the season.