Australian and New Zealand crews assisting in wildfire efforts - KPTV - FOX 12

Australian and New Zealand crews assisting in wildfire efforts

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Northwest firefighters are still working around the clock to battle several fires burning across Oregon and Washington.

Now, though, some relief is on the way from the land down under as fire crews from Australia are helping out with some of the biggest blazes in our area.

Over 70 firefighters from Australia and New Zealand are on the ground in the Northwest helping out with several fires.

One of the biggest fires they're tackling right now is the Grizzly Bear Complex, which is burning in the Umatilla National Forest in both Oregon and Washington

The fire has grown to over 68,000 acres and is only 10 percent contained as of Thursday night.

Chris Arnol is one of the Aussie firefighters helping with the Northwest fires. He felt an obligation to help crews here, even if that meant hopping a 16-hour flight from Australia to Portland.

"We have to help each other, we do that a lot down south, down under, crossing countries and borders to help each other, like you do here,” he explained. “We haven't been here for a while. But I can tell you that in 2010, we had U.S. folks coming out to Australia to help us with our bad fires.”

Australian and New Zealand fire crews will be stateside for 14 days, but could stay longer if necessary.

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