Va. firefighters to combat wildfires in Oregon

In this Sunday July 13, 2014, photo released by the Oregon Dept. of Forestry, the Moccasin Hill fire burns north of Sprague River and northeast of Klamath Falls, Ore.  Lightning struck Oregon more than 6,000 times Sunday and Monday, touching off small fires by the dozens. Such a barrage can be expected to cause numerous "sleeper" or holdover fires in coming days. (AP Photo/Oregon Dept. of Forestry, Dennis Lee)
In this Sunday July 13, 2014, photo released by the Oregon Dept. of Forestry, the Moccasin Hill fire burns north of Sprague River and northeast of Klamath Falls, Ore. Lightning struck Oregon more than 6,000 times Sunday and Monday, touching off small fires by the dozens. Such a barrage can be expected to cause numerous "sleeper" or holdover fires in coming days. (AP Photo/Oregon Dept. of Forestry, Dennis Lee)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Firefighters from the Virginia Department of Forestry are helping to combat wildfires in central Oregon.

More than 20 agency employees are heading to Oregon to work as part of a wildfire hand crew and as incident managers. The crew is expected to be deployed for 16 days.

Officials say large, complex wildfires require more personnel than most states possess and that mutual aid is important in firefighting efforts.

During the last nine years, Virginia wildland firefighters have helped with suppression efforts in Texas, Florida, Oklahoma and California. Firefighters from nearly two dozen states have previously traveled to Virginia to help battle large wildfires.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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