The Ultimate Mutual Aid: US Firefighters in Australia with Rick Young
The ultimate in mutual aid has got to be the assist Australians are getting from US firefighters. These are wildland fires on a massive scale: more than 25 million acres have burned in fires that have raged since September. Thirty-one people—including seven firefighters – have been killed. Thousands of homes have been lost. Those statistics describe a fire the likes of which the US has never seen. And even though the weather has cooperated with heavy rains, it still hasn’t been enough. But about 240 US firefighters have travelled to Australia to lend a hand in the past weeks. It’s a unique experience, from the landscape to the fuels involved … to the culture shock. My guest today, by phone from Australia, is among the US firefighters currently in-country. Rick Young is in his 30th fire season for both the Forest Service and National Park Service. He’s a Type 1 Incident Commander for California Interagency Incident Management Team 5. And he’s the Deputy Interagency Fire Chief of Operations for Six Rivers National Forest and Redwood National Park.
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