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With Crews Stretched Thin, Washington Calls On Civilians To Fight Fire06:58
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A makeshift fire truck puts water on a wildfire, which is part of the Okanogan Complex, as it burns through brush on August 22, 2015 near Omak, Washington. The fires have burned more than 127,000 acres. (Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
A makeshift fire truck puts water on a wildfire, which is part of the Okanogan Complex, as it burns through brush on August 22, 2015 near Omak, Washington. The fires have burned more than 127,000 acres. (Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
This article is more than 5 years old.

The fires in Washington state have gotten so bad - and the crews are getting stretched so thin - that firefighters from New Zealand and Australia have flown in to help. The state is also asking civilians to pitch in.

Some residents have donated their bulldozers to the cause and those who are qualified are volunteering to fight the fires on the front line. More than 5,000 residents answered the call, and about 600 have been vetted and approved for work.

Joe Smillie of the Washington State Department of Natural Resources discusses the latest with Here & Now's Peter O'Dowd.

Guest

  • Joe Smillie, spokesman for the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. He tweets @JoeSmillie.

This segment aired on August 26, 2015.

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