USA's wildfire resources run thin

Updated: 17 September, 2020 09:45 IST | Agencies | Sacramento

There's never enough resources," said Justin Silvera, one of 17,000 firefighters in California. "These conditions in the field, the drought, the wind, this stuff is just taking off. We can't contain one before another erupts."

A firefighter works in Monrovia, California, on Tuesday. Pic/AFP
A firefighter works in Monrovia, California, on Tuesday. Pic/AFP

This year's blazes have taxed the human, mechanical and financial resources of the nation's wildfire fighting forces to an extraordinary degree. And half of the fire season is yet to come.

There's never enough resources," said Justin Silvera, one of 17,000 firefighters in California. "These conditions in the field, the drought, the wind, this stuff is just taking off. We can't contain one before another erupts."

Washington State Forester George Geissler says there are hundreds of unfulfilled requests for help throughout the West. Agencies are constantly seeking firefighters, aircraft, engines and support personnel. "We know that there's really nothing left in the bucket," Geissler said.

"Our sister agencies to the south in California and Oregon are really struggling." At least 80 per cent of crews were already committed to fighting fires, and there were few personnel and little equipment to spare now.

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First Published: 17 September, 2020 07:28 IST

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