Firefighter Leonard Dimaculangan, of Pasadena, Calif. hugs his daughter Promise, 11, after arriving from a deployment fighting wildfires in Australia Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020, in Los Angeles. 20 firefighters from the Angeles National Forest worked with the Victoria Rural Fire Service to fight the blazes that are consuming Australia. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

California firefighters return from battling Australia fires

February 05, 2020 - 10:53 am

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Twenty firefighters from California returned to the United States on Wednesday after spending nearly a month battling wildfires in Australia.

The firefighters based at Angeles National Forest arrived at Los Angeles International Airport and were scheduled to reunite with their families at a city fire station.

The group had worked with the Victoria Rural Fire Service to fight Australia's devastating blazes.

Marvin Schober, 46, planned to surprise his brother, Capt. Leonard Dimaculangan, at the fire station.

“Those guys are superheroes,” Schober said as he waited with a GoPro camera to capture his brother's reaction.

The returning firefighters — 18 men and two women — worked on different crews in Australia.

Angeles National Forest sprawls over more than 1,090 square miles (2,823 square kilometers) of the San Gabriel Mountains, which form a wilderness backdrop to metropolitan Los Angeles.

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