US fire experts coming to Australia
US fire experts set to join Vic crews –
By North America correspondent Michael Rowland
Posted 4 hours 18 minutes ago
Updated 4 hours 19 minutes ago
The United States is preparing to send firefighting experts to help the effort in Victoria, where at least 173 people have been killed in blazes that continue to burn across the state.
Officials at the US Interagency Fire Centre are assembling a team of specialists including operation chiefs and helicopter supervisors to join the firefighting effort.
They are awaiting a formal request from the Australian Government, which is expected to be made within the next 12 hours.
Once that happens, the US team could be on the ground in Victoria within two days.
Ken Fredericks, a spokesman for the Interagency Fire Centre, says American and Australian firefighters have a close working relationship.
"We're just thrilled to have the opportunity to help because Australia has been extremely helpful to the United States when we are having tough fire situations," he said.
There are no plans at this stage to send firefighters from the US but officials will continue to monitor the situation.
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