Governor of California Gavin Newsom is reaching out to the international community for help to combat a series of raging wildfires in his state, and he is calling to Canada and Australia specifically.
In an update on the over 560 active blazes in the state, Newsom addressed the many sacrifices made by fire crews in his state and the strain it has placed on emergency workers throughout California.
Besides thanking those actively working to contain the fires, Newsom also made it clear he has been looking for some international support.
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“We’ve also reached out across the border into Canada for resources and support,” he said during a Friday news conference.
A representative from the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC) told Daily Hive that a request has been received from California, but an agreement is not in place to provide reciprocal support to the state itself, only with certain federal partners in the US.
CIFFC added that as a preliminary measure it has taken an inventory of its available resources, should they be required.
Newsom also said that he has requested support from Australia’s fire service, who have “some of the best wildfire firefighters in the world.” The governor added that the country provided support for previous fires in 2017.
According to the update, since August 14, 771,000 acres have burned across the state, with a total of 931 houses having been destroyed this fire season, with five fatalities.
CA FIRES UPDATE:
– More than 12,000 lightning strikes
– 560 fires since this began
– 18 new fires since yesterday
– 20 major fires
– 771K acres burned (that’s about the size of Rhode Island)
Grateful for our firefighters and first responders on the frontlines keeping CA safe.
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) August 21, 2020
Making matters worse, earlier in the week, Southern California’s Death Valley reached dangerously high temperatures of 130ºF last Sunday, potentially the highest global temperature in more than 100 years.
According to the US National Weather Service (NWS), if verified, it will be the hottest temperature recorded in US history since 1913 and potentially the hottest ever reliably recorded in the world.
This article was updated to include comment from the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre.