COLUMBUS, OH -- A 20-person crew of Ohio firefighters has been dispatched to New Mexico today to help suppress forest fires in Gila National Forest, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
At the request of the U.S. Forest Service, the Ohio Interagency Fire Crew will spend up to two weeks assisting wildfire suppression efforts in the national forest.
Located in western New Mexico, Gila National Forest is the sixth largest national forest in the continental United States covering 3,300,000 acres.
Members of the Ohio crew include nine ODNR employees and 11 firefighters not affiliated with a state or federal agency.
Under our agreement with the U.S. Forest Service, ODNR and other government agencies across Ohio stand ready to share firefighting resources with other jurisdictions in the United States, Canada and Mexico, said John Dorka, chief of the ODNR Division of Forestry.
According to Dorka, all personnel costs and other expenses are reimbursed by the federal government.
In recent years, Ohio crews have been assigned to fight fires in Montana, Nevada, Florida, California, Oregon and Washington.