A team of 25 Massachusetts firefighters are scheduled to return Sunday evening from a five-day deployment to helping authorities in Oregon, who are battling major wildfires.
The team, from the Beverly-based Massachusetts Urban Search and Rescue Task Force, was sent to help with search and structural assessment missions, said spokesman Thomas G. Gatzunis on Sunday. They arrived in Oregon early Tuesday.
Wildfires have devastated parts of Oregon, California, and Washington State in recent weeks, leaving at least 35 people dead and millions of acres of land scorched. Climate scientists believe climate change, and lower rainfall on the West Coast, are factors in the unprecedented spread of the fires.
The Massachusetts Urban Search and Rescue Task Force, a group of about 150 firefighters, police officers, and emergency medical technicians under contract with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, can be deployed for disasters like wildfires and hurricanes nationwide.
Material from The Associated Press is included in this report.
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