Several firefighters from the Denver metro have deployed to the Durango area to help fight the 416 fire.
The Mountain View Fire Protection District, based out of Longmont, sent four members to southern Colorado.
“They’re either actively fighting the fire or they're going to homes that are not yet in the fire's path yet, doing preparations, making it more fire safe,” explained Chief Dave Beebe.
Beebe said about two dozen firefighters in his department have the specialized training to fight wildland fires, and will occasionally travel to help where needed.
“It gives our members the opportunity to go out and do some things that normally wouldn’t do and get some experience they might not get and bring that back to our citizens,” he said.
The 416 Fire continues to grow and has forced people to evacuate from homes. Drought conditions and an especially hot weekend make fighting the fire even more difficult.
“It can be incredibly hard, long days. And those guys putting themselves out there, even the incident command teams, they're routinely working 16-18 hours a day,” Beebe said. “It’s a lot of work.”
The Denver Fire Department has 19 firefighters currently helping in Durango.
Metro West Fire Protection District sent assistance too.
“No department, quite frankly, in the world is big enough to handle all emergencies on their own,” said District Chief Steve Aseltine. He said the department deployed a brush engine, people to help with various communication roles, and a new team called the Rapid Extraction Module Support (REMs).
“If firefighters or extra personnel on the fire get in trouble, then that team is there to get them out in a hurry,” Aseltine explained. “There’s a drought situation in southern Colorado, that’s rapidly moving north.
“We don’t know what caused the 416 fire yet but we are certainly one bad move away from having that type of incident around here and we want to avoid that as best we can.”