The Delaware Forest Service has sent a second wildfire crew to the western United States as 41 active large fires are burning over 700,000 acres across five western states.

Most of the fires are concentrated in California, Oregon and Washington with 10 fires each. Thus far this year, a total of 35,751 fires have burned over 2.5 million acres nationwide.

Twenty firefighters under the direction of the Delaware Forest Service will serve a two-week assignment to fight wildfires for the National Interagency Fire Center beginning with their trip to Redmond, Oregon for positioning before a likely assignment in the Pacific Northwest or Northern California.

One Smyrna resident and two Clayton residents are on the 20-member crew.

A team from Delaware recently returned on Aug. 5 from a two-week assignment in the state of Washington.

Delaware’s crew mobilized at Blackbird State Forest in Smyrna on Aug. 13. The team – comprised of public agency staff, volunteer firefighters, and private citizens – will be led by State Forester Michael A. Valenti, of Dover, a veteran of many previous out-of-state assignments.

The crew’s departure coincides with a peak in fire activity in the West. The National Fire Preparedness Level is currently 4 on a 5-point scale due to increased wildfire activity in the western U.S.