Twenty SoCal Firefighters Returning From Australia


LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Twenty Angeles National Forest firefighters will return to Los Angeles on Wednesday after spending almost a month battling the raging wildfires in Australia, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced today.

The firefighters were deployed on Jan. 6 to assist the Victoria Rural Fire Service, according to the USDA's Nathan Judy and Forest Service spokesman Andrew Mitchell.

``All of us on the forest, and I know their families are proud of the hard work our dedicated firefighters accomplished while in Australia,'' said Robert Garcia, Angeles Fire Chief. ``We look forward to hearing and learning from their experiences while abroad.''

The firefighters will be reunited with loved ones at the Los Angeles Fire Department's Station 5 on Wednesday morning after flying into Los Angeles International Airport, Judy said.

Fires across southern Australia have claimed at least 33 human lives and millions of animals since September, destroyed more than 3,000 homes and razed more than 26.2 million acres.

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