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Michigan natural resources workers help fight Southern fires


Eight firefighters with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources are on loan to crews battling wildfires in Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.

The Michigan DNR says it has dispatched four engines to the South, each with two-man crews. The agency will be reimbursed for the costs of providing them.

Forest Resources Division chief Bill O'Neill says the DNR will continue helping drought-parched Southern states as long as the situation remains critical there. He says the firefighters gain valuable experience from out-of-state duties that can be helpful back in Michigan.

O'Neill says other states have given Michigan a hand with its emergencies in the past, including the 18,000-acre Sleeper Lake fire in 2007 and the 2012 Duck Lake fire, which covered 21,000 acres.

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