Local Firefighters Head West


TALLAHASSEE, FL. 8-8-13

Firefighters are battling wildfires in California, Oregon and Utah.

Now, they'll be getting help from some of Florida's finest. More than 32,000 acres are burning in California, another 95,000 in Oregon and 5,000 more in Utah.

"You wouldn't be in this job is you didn't enjoy what you do," said Florida Forest Service firefighter Kenneth Harvey.

Harvey has been helping fight wildfires out west for more than a decade. Although he won't be heading out to Utah with about 40 of his colleagues Friday morning, he's helped prepare them for what they can expect.

"They've had the education. All of our guys have been trained through us for the western deployments."

20 firefighters from the FFS have already been sent out west to battle fires,

Wildfire mitigation specialist Todd Schroeder says this 20-man team will be a hand crew creating fire lines to help battle the flames.

One of the biggest differences some of the new firefighters will face: altitude.

"The breathing for us the first two or three days it takes you to get acclimated to that climate," said Harvey.

Some might think it's brave for firefighters to go all the way across the country to fight fire, but for them, it's just a job.

"You're trying to help somebody out there save a house or a life."


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