From the Last Frontier to the Land Down Under

FAIRBANKS, Alaska An Alaskan fire manager is in Australia to help with fire fighting efforts.

A strike team of firefighters from New Zealand conduct a burn operation on a fire in New South Wales using New South Wales Rural Fire Service equipment. The group of firefighters seemlessly jumped in and went to work after mobilizing to NSW recently. (Photo by Eldon Alexander, BLM/U.S. liaison)

After two days of travel from the northern hemisphere to the land down under, Bureau of Land Management Alaska Fire Service Associate Manager Kyle Cowan arrived in Sydney where he’ll be a liaison for Americans mobilizing to help with an unprecedented and deadly early fire season in Australia.

According to a press release from BLM, Cowan arrived Wednesday to begin a month-long deployment where he will coordinate American involvement on fires burning in New South Wales. He’s working with the New South Wales Rural Fire Service (NSWRFS), the lead fire combat agency for bush fires in the southeastern Australian state.

More than 1,750 Australian firefighters and support crews are already working to slow the spread of fire across the state, according to NSWRFS.

It is anticipated that additional American resources, channeled through the National Interagency Coordination Center (NICC) in Boise, will trickle in through February as Australia’s already catastrophic fire season progresses.

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