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Fighting wildlands fires in CA

The 18-person NPS crew and leader who left to fight wildland fires in California. [courtesy photo]
Source: NPAS media release

An 18-person National Park of American Samoa crew and crew leader were scheduled to depart on Wednesday, August 2, from American Samoa to Northern California to fight wildland fires for 30 days. Once in California, the national park’s fire crew will receive their field assignment and work side-by-side with fire crews from across the nation.

“Our wildland firefighters represent a talented mix of employees from the national park, the American Samoa Government, and local businesses from both Tutuila and the Manu’a islands,” said Acting Superintendent Daniel George. “We are proud to send our crew to help protect natural resources and keep communities safe during this severe fire season on the mainland. The skill and dedication of our Samoan crew is well known and very much respected on the mainland and fire crews there are eager for our crew to come join them in their work.”

The National Park of American Samoa has been sending fire crews to the mainland US for the past 17 years. In partnership with Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, the National Park of American Samoa trains staff and local government employees as well as local villagers in the skills required to fight fires at home and within other areas of the United States.

To become wildland firefighters, this crew had to complete rigorous training and pass a demanding written test. They also had to pass a fitness test that required the firefighters to walk three miles wearing a 45-pound pack in less than 45-minutes.