By Kelly Werthmann
FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – Colorado firefighters may be the next to get the call for help in California as deadly wildfires continue to burn out of control.
Many local agencies have added their names to a national list of crews available to respond to California if needed. Resources in neighboring states, like Washington and Oregon, have already been deployed.
“The firefighters that are out there are probably trying more to evacuate people than fight the fires,” said John Lippert, Battalion Chief with Poudre Fire Authority said.
“The closest agencies that are signed up get called out first because they can get there quicker,” Lippert said, “We’re ready to respond in a couple hours. We have people ready to be dispatched if they need to be.”
PFA is among the many agencies in Colorado that sent crews to fight fires in Montana this summer, as well as assist in rescue missions in Texas and Florida following the hurricanes.
Now the agency is preparing to possibly send supply trucks and boots on the ground out west.
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“The way the weather is looking and the forecast are, this is going to go on for awhile,” Lippert said, “It’s a tragedy.”
If they get the call, PFA would send crews in a brush truck that’s equipped with wild land fire fighting tools as well as Type III apparatus that carries more water.
Given the conditions in California, there may be more calls for help, and it’s a call Colorado firefighters are proud to answer.
“Just like the High Park Fire we had out here and 160 engines deployed to our area… it’s kind of a ‘we help you, you help us,'” Lippert said.
Other Colorado agencies have crews available to deploy west, including teams from Greeley, Loveland, Boulder, West Metro & South Metro Fire Rescue.
– Visit CBSDenver.com’s Living With Wildfire section.
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Kelly Werthmann joined the CBS4 team as the morning reporter in 2012. After serving as weekend morning anchor, Kelly is now Covering Colorado First for CBS4 News at 10. Connect with Kelly on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @KellyCBS4.