Missouri has sent its first fire crews west to fight some of the wild fires burning in several states. Two 20-person crews have been dispatched to Utah and South Dakota for two-week stints.
A wildfire has burned about 470-square miles in Utah…Another wildfire, in South Dakota has destroyed 27 homes and killed one person.
The fire training coordinator for the conservation department, Bruce Palmer, says Missouri’s crews will be in the thick of things. "They’ll be two hand crews and they’ll be out the line," he said.
The temperatures are well into triple digits in many of the fire areas in the west. But Palmer says the 20 Missourians headed west are prepared by special classes and refresher classes to keep them safe. He says each firefighter also must pass a physical examination.
The conservation department and the forest service will not send fire crews from Missouri out of the state if fire conditions are high here. Palmer says our spring rains and high humidities have put the Missouri fire danger at a low level.
He says some members of these crews might go back for another two-week stint. But he says that will be up to them and to their supervisors–and to conditions here.