Four Benton County firefighters are packed up and heading to California to battle the wildfires ravaging the state.
The Benton County crew is part of a 20-person strike team, with personnel from Walla Walla, Stevens County, Chelan County and College Place. The team left for Chino, Calif., on Saturday morning.
The state has been devastated by a series of fires. One blaze, about 180 miles northeast of San Francisco, killed nine people and destroyed more than 6,000 homes, forcing more than 30,000 people to evacuate from the town of Paradise.
In Southern California, two fires have destroyed more than 150 homes and prompted evacuation orders for about 250,000 people.
Once they get to Chino, the firefighters will be assigned to fight one of the fires, said Tracy Baker, the Benton County Fire District 1 public information officer.