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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.

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