The N.C. Forest Service has sent 32 employees to help other states and the federal government fight wildfires around the country. “N.C. Forest Service employees are recognized nationally as excellent wildland firefighters,” said State Forester Wib Owen. Forest Service employees are working on fires in Colorado, Montana, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming. The agency also is providing staff for the Southern Area Coordination Center in Atlanta. In North Carolina, workers are helping the U.S. Forest Service battle the 21,000-acre fire in the Croatan National Forest near New Bern. The N.C. Forest Service has helped other agencies by providing a 20-member firefighting crew as well as personnel to fill a variety of roles. The requesting agencies will reimburse the state for providing the assistance. “We are very proud of these men and woman for the personal sacrifice they are making to aid in fighting these fires,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler.