More than 100 Arizona firefighters sent to battle wildfires in southern California

Posted: Updated:
(Source: CNN) (Source: CNN)
(3TV/CBS 5) -

The Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management has dispatched 125 firefighters and 25 engines to southern California to help fight the wildfires burning in the state.

There are multiple fires burning in that area. The Thomas Fire, the biggest of all the fires, started Monday evening and has exploded in size, fanned by wind and very dry conditions. 

[RELATED: Southern California fires growing quickly, forcing thousands to evacuate]

All the Arizona crews will be used as strike teams. Strike teams are in high demand now, since most wildland firefighters are seasonal and likely have already been laid off for the winter.

Strike teams can assist in multiple ways, by working the front lines of the fire, by acting as relief to firefighters that have been on the fire since day one, and as structure protection.

[RELATED: A look at the California wildfires' jaw-dropping numbers]

"It's hard to fathom the amount of devastation that California has seen over the last few months. We will always be ready to assist our neighbors when needed. We are praying for California and all of the firefighters and first responders who are working so hard to protect those affected communities," said Jeff Whitney, Arizona State Forester.

[RELATED: Fire closes I-405, rages near Bel-Air, Getty Museum in Los Angeles]

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