Firefighters from American Samoa fly west to help out with California wildfires

Tauaveave Lehai
Tauaveave Lehai
Tuli Manu
Tuli Manu

By Duane Shimogawa

HONOLULU (KHNL)- Firefighters continue to battle hundreds of wildfires throughout California. Fires have destroyed almost a half million acres and nearly twenty thousand firefighters are helping to put them out.

At the Honolulu International Airport a crew from American Samoa left Wednesday morning to help with the efforts. For most of them, it's their very first time fighting wildfires. Some say they are ready for the challenge, while others just hope for a safe return.

Dancing and chanting this is not your typical crew of firefighters.But don't let the lava-lava fool you because soon they will be trading it for some fire fighting gear.

"I think I'm ready to go out and fight fires, so I think I'm well prepared for this assignment,"said firefighter, Tauaveave Lehai.

Lehai has been training for this for five years but the California wildfires are his very first firefighting opportunity.

"Nervous, kind of little scary, never know what might happen, just hope to be back home safely," he said in regards to how he was feeling.

They all seem to know their mission will be no nap in the park.

"So I think this mission is not easy, it's bad and really hard work. That's why we depend on the fittest and the strongest," said firefighter Tuli Manu.