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Minnesota to send firefighters, trucks to Oregon amid Western wildfires

ST. PAUL, Minn. (KTTC) -- A group of 29 Minnesota firefighters will soon travel to Oregon to assist in the effort to protect structures threatened by devastating wildfires.

As of Monday morning, wildfires across the state of Oregon had forced more than 500,000 people from their homes and consumed more than 800,000 acres of land, NBC reported. NBC said parts of Oregon, California and Washington have dangerously poor air quality as of Monday.

According to a news release from Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz on Monday, the governor authorized the firefighters, along with nine fire trucks, to go to Salem, Oregon on Tuesday to help, following a request from Oregon officials through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact.

Walz said the state will send two task forces, with firefighters and trucks from Brainerd, Fisher, Bemidji, Eden Prairie, Motley, Cross Lake, and Spring Lake Park/Blaine/Mounds View fire departments.

“The firefighters on these teams are trained to protect lives and property during dangerous, stressful and volatile situations,” State Fire Marshal Jim Smith said.

Walz said the teams are scheduled to leave from Fergus Falls at 9 a.m. after a mission briefing and equipment inspections.

“Wildfires continue to put our fellow Americans’ lives at risk while devastating homes, businesses, and communities,” Walz said in a news release. “The Minnesota fire service is known for stepping up in critical situations, putting their lives on the line to save others. I am proud of the way they’ve answered this call to serve. My thoughts are with the residents of Oregon, California, and Washington during this harrowing time.”

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Nicole Valinote

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