AUSTIN (KXAN) — Firefighters from Austin have started the long journey to California to help tackle deadly wildfires that are devastating the West Coast.
The Austin Fire Department said that 16 firefighters and two support vehicles are expected to spend at least two weeks fighting the flames in California.
“We ask that you keep them and all those that are currently dealing with the blazes there, in your thoughts and prayers,” the fire department said in a statement posted on Twitter.
The Round Rock Fire Department previously said that they are sending three firefighters to help with the effort in California.
The firefighters from Austin and Round Rock are part of a strike team of Texas personnel from 56 fire departments across the state that will help fight the wildfires.
As of Saturday morning, 28 major fires continue to burn and at least nine people have been killed, while another 19 are unaccounted for.
There have been mass evacuations in Oregon, where thousands of homes have been destroyed.
In California alone, the size of the land burned by these wildfires is larger than the entire state of Connecticut, according to the Associated Press.