U.P. firefighters sent out west to help with wildfire relief

Upper Peninsula manpower is being used to help suppress hundreds of wildfires burning along the West Coast.

Thirty-one Michigan DNR firefighters have been called out to help contain blazes in California, Oregon, Washington and Idaho.  Eleven of the 31 firefighters are from the U.P.

The crews flew out last Monday.  Twenty of the firefighters have been sent to Medford, Oregon.

They have been assigned to be an initial attack force, suppressing a 20-acre fire burning in rugged terrain.  The other eleven crews are battling numerous other wildfires, including one in Oakhurst, California, about fifteen miles from Yosemite National Park.

The DNR said the state is still well-equipped to handle wildfires that flare up in Michigan, even with fire crews helping out on the West Coast.