Oct 252007

As fires in southern California rage on, firefighters find themselves unprepared in both human power and equipment for such a natural disaster.

So, to aid the men and women fighting the flames, northern Colorado firefighters left for California Wednesday.

“We thought we were leaving on Tuesday but that didn’t work out,” said Michael Haynie, crew boss trainee for the crew. “We will be leaving today (Wednesday) within the hour.”

Exhausted California Department of Forestry (CDF) crews have been battling the flames since Sunday and now need relief, causing fire officials to call in crews from various western states, including Utah, Wyoming and Colorado.

According to the National Interagency Situation (SIT) report, there are currently 11 “uncontained large fires” with nine fires in San Diego County alone.

Officials in California have also called for a Northern Colorado Interagency Handcrew, a crew consisting of at least 20 firefighters from the Larimer County Emergency Services, the U.S. Forest Service and the Park Service.

Poudre Fire Authority (PFA) has also sent a Type 3, or mid-size, fire engine, said Dave Mosier of the Larimer County Emergency Services.

Once in California, the CDF will route the crew to where they are most needed. According to the CDF Web site, the Witch Fire in San Diego County is the top priority fire in the region and is only 20 percent contained.

The CDF has also called for additional air resources.

“We were called by the state to send aircrafts and assist with efforts,” said David Grovdahl, a junior liberal arts major and vice president of Wyoming-based Sierra Life Flight. “We sent out our helicopter.”

Staff writer Eldad Sharon can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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