NJ firefighters to help with WA state wildfires

A group of New Jersey firefighters will be heading out to the northwestern part of the country to help with the large Okanogan wildfire.



Members of the New Jersey Forest Fire Service gathered Tuesday to pack their gear to prepare for the trip. They will meet up with more firefighters in Pennsylvania before heading out west. They will be joining a group of over 1,000 firefighters.



Crew Boss Robert Allen says fighting the fire won't be easy, especially because of the rocky terrain in the area of the fire.



"Out west, it's more vast and we wind up having a more difficult time getting to the fires. There's a lot more lightning fires," he says.



According to officials, the fires grew by 2.6 square miles on Monday night and have now burned 403 square miles. As many as 5,000 homes in Washington state alone are in jeopardy of being burned.



In addition to the firefighters from New Jersey and Pennsylvania, 16 firefighters from Australia are expected to arrive Thursday to assist.



The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.


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