More than 70 Minnesota wildland firefighters heading west to battle wildfires

The Loyalton Fire burns in the Tahoe National Forest in California. (Inciweb)

After a request from the National Interagency Fire Center for help fighting 96 active wildfires nationwide, more than 70 Minnesotans are heading west to help.

According to the Fire Center, the 96 active wildfires have burned more than 1.8 billion acres in 13 states, stretching available resources and requiring help from other parts of the country.

Minnesota’s Interagency Fire Center spokesperson Leanne Langeberg announced it is sending more than 70 firefighters to six states, including California, where more than 1 million acres burned in just one week. 

“As wildlife activity outside of Minnesota escalates, our wildland firefighters are trained and qualified to support response efforts wherever the need is greatest,” Langeberg said. “Right now, the need out west is extreme.”

The Minnesota Interagency Fire Center said it is not completely clear of its own fall wildlife season, however. The agency is monitoring wildfire danger daily as dry conditions continue statewide.

State and federal agencies say they are still prepared to adjust their support if fire conditions in Minnesota increase.