Active Fire Seasons Puts A Strain On Northwest Fire Resources

Aug 11, 2014

This summer's active wildfire season is stretching fire crews to the limit. This week, virtually every available wildland firefighter in the Northwest is on the scene of a blaze. Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

Fighting wildfires requires lots of specialized equipment…and specially trained firefighters. Deborah Miley is the director of the National Wildfire Suppression Association. She says virtually all of the private fire crews she represents in the Northwest are out on a fire line right now. But she says the agencies who coordinate their use have some out-of-the-area back-up they can call. But that option is used judiciously.

Miley: "They're definitely going to look at what resources they have in particular regions where the fire danger at any given time might not be as great and make sure they try to utilize those as best they can, because they certainly don't want to leave somebody unprotected."

The largest fires require more than a dozen crews to tackle the blaze at any given time. A standard crew size is 20 people.

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