Nevada Helps Southern California Firefighters

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Scores of Nevada firefighters headed for Southern California on Monday to help battle fires that have destroyed at least 1,100 homes and killed at least 13 people.

Frank Siracusa, chief of Nevada's division of emergency management, said 75 firefighters, nine trucks and other pieces of equipment, and two helicopters were sent to what has turned into California's deadliest outbreak of fires in more than a decade.

Siracusa said he expects the number of Nevada people and equipment going to California to increase over the next couple of days to help quell flames that have burned more than 400,000 acres.

The Nevada help was sent following a phone request from California Gov. Gray Davis to Nevada Gov. Kenny Guinn on Monday and "the governor said we're happy to provide whatever assistance we can," Guinn spokesman Greg Bortolin said.

Siacusa said most of the firefighters were sent from northern Nevada, including Elko, Carson, Washoe, Storey and Douglas counties.

"Mostly what was requested was help in wildland firefighting, and most of our resources for that are in northern and central Nevada," Siracusa said. But he added help from southern Nevada is likely later on.

"We will be working with all our departments to ascertain what they might be able to free up. We're got to be able to take care of ourselves too," he added.