Men and women from American Samoa are again helping put out forest fires in California this summer.
A 17 person National Park of American Samoa crew and crew leader departed Wednesday from American Samoa on a 30-day assignment to fight wild land fires.
Once in California, the crew will receive their assignment and work side by side with fire crews from across the nation.
Superintendent Scott Burch says, “The men and women that make up our fire crew are all exceptional people.
“The National Park of American Samoa Fire Crew is well known throughout the United States as a dedicated, hardworking and valuable asset to the national wild land fire response team.”
In partnership with Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, the National Park of American Samoa trains staff and local villages in the skills required to fight fires at home and within other areas of the United States.
To become wild land firefighters, this crew had to complete rigorous training and pass a demanding written and physical test.
The fire crew is made up of National Park Service employees, and employees of the American Samoa Government and local businesses.
A press release from NPS says local government agencies and businesses have wholeheartedly supported this effort by allowing some of their employees to be a part of the National Park Service fire crew and to be absent for this deployment for the next month
This year, wildfires in California have destroyed hundreds of homes and burned thousands of acres.
Park Superintendent Burch says, “Fa’amolemole, please join me in wishing them a successful deployment and in looking forward to their safe return.”