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US sends more firefighters to help battle Australia blazes

AP Photo/Rick Rycroft
Posted at 4:11 AM, Jan 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-08 04:13:21-05

(AP) — The U.S. is planning to send at least 100 more firefighters to Australia to join 159 already there battling blazes that have killed 25 people and destroyed 2,000 homes.

The National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, said 90 firefighters including on-the-ground hand crews have left in recent days to fight fires that have scorched an area twice the size of the U.S. state of Maryland.

Another 100 firefighters are are expected to fly out next week.

Australian officials have requested the firefighters as part of a reciprocal deal that had 138 Australians coming to the U.S. to fight wildfires in 2018.