FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, AUG. 15, 2013
||Brian Haines, public information officer
N.C. Forest Service
N.C. Forest Service crews fighting fires in Western states
RALEIGH — North Carolina’s wet spring and summer have meant a below-normal wildfire season, allowing N.C. Forest Service staff to assist states in the West.
A 20-person crew left earlier this week to help fight one of the many wildfires burning in Alaska. Another 20-person crew is working on a wildfire near Portage, Utah.
A third, multi-agency crew will be traveling to Boise, Idaho, on Saturday, where it will be assigned to one of the many fires in that region. This crewis madeup of individuals from the N.C. Forest Service, The Nature Conservancy, N.C. Division of Parks & Recreation and multiple volunteer fire departments.
Forest Service employees also have helped fight wildfires in California, Oregon and Washington. All total, the agency has sent 78 people to work on wildfires in the Western U.S. this year.
“Whenever there are extreme wildfires in our country, fire agencies work together to help one another,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Over the years, many of our employees have trained with other state and federal agencies. Those trainings and these opportunities to work together ultimately benefit North Carolina because our employees obtain knowledge and experience that can be used when responding to incidents here.
“I don’t think any state can battle large wildfires without help from others,” he said. “Our employees know that the work they do to help other firefighting agencies will come back to us in the form of assistance when we need it.”
The requesting agencies will reimburse the state for providing the assistance.