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Tennessee sends crew of firefighters to assist with fires in Western states

by The Associated Press |

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Firefighters from Tennessee have been deployed to the western U.S. to help battle wildfires, officials said.

Tennessee’s Division of Forestry said in a news release Thursday that 20 incident commanders, tree removers and firefighters have been sent to central New Mexico to help local fire departments fight wildfires in that region.

An additional forestry staff member has been sent to Arizona to manage equipment for a team assigned to the Bush Fire, currently the largest fire in the country, officials said.

The state forestry division’s Fire Management Unit spent the past year building capacity to send employees to out-of-state wildfires and other emergency incidents, officials said.

“When the threat is low and we have enough resources to meet demands in Tennessee, we want to lend a hand and provide assistance to other states,” Tennessee Agriculture Commissioner Charlie Hatcher said in a statement.