Arizona resources responding to Colorado wildfire - New York News

Arizona resources responding to Colorado wildfire

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

Arizona is lending a hand in the Colorado firefight.

Nearly 400 homes have been destroyed and there is only 5 percent containment. Two people are dead.

As the fire continues to rage, states from around the region are sending resources, including some firefighters from right here in Arizona.

Acre by acre, house by house, the Black Forest Fire northwest of Colorado Springs, Colorado continues its ugly path of destruction.

389 homes have now been destroyed. Those evacuated watch helplessly as their neighborhoods go up in smoke.

Firefighters are battling the flames from the air and on the ground – and that includes crews from Arizona.

So far, 60 ground crews, as well as a chopper crew, are battling the Colorado blaze.

“It’s dangerous and it's hard, it's long long hours,” said Dan Pitterle, Tribal Fire Program Manager, by phone.

Dan Pitterle is the Tribal Fire program manager in San Carlos, which is one of three regions in Arizona that has dispatched a crew of 20 to Colorado.

“The swift crews with southwest firefighters, they're kind of a national resource so they're available to go anywhere.”

The crews will work a number of different roles, from structure protection or mopping up hot spots.

Friday, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper thanked the resources from across the region that have responded.

“I think the first responders are just total heroes. We saw a bunch of them and we tried to just thank them every chance we got,” said Hickenlooper.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer also thanked those first responders.

"Out-of-state aid and collaboration are critically important in fighting these massive fires. States have come to Arizona's aid in the past, and we are able to return the favor by providing critical equipment, manpower to our friends in Colorado and New Mexico,” she stated.

The crews from Arizona will work 14 days before they will either return back home or rest up, and then be assigned to another 14 days depending on the fire conditions in Colorado.

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