Triple digit heat now fueling major fires in the west. With more fires, come more crews. Now, some crews from the Tri-State are being mobilized to help fight.
Firefighters from the Hoosier National Forest left last week and an Indiana Conservation Officer is in fire country right now.
“The fires get so big that they grow so fast and they’re fueled by the wind and we can’t stop them, ” said Indiana Conservation Officer Keirsten Forbey.
Keirsten Forbey is in Newport, Washington. He has one purpose and one purpose only: stop the fires.
“We just have to let it go and then wait until it dies down and then try to go in and catch it,” he said.
This is his second trip. Just last month he was in Oregon.
“You work 16 hour days before sun up and sunset and it gets hot, it’s very grueling,” he said. “It’s tedious work. Sometimes you get a jump on it and a lot of times you don’t.”
Ten states including California, Idaho, and Arizona are suffering from wildfires. Federal fire investigators say this year, more than seven million acres have burned. As of now, more than a million acres are still on fire.
“We play an important role because the personnel isn’t all on the ground where you need them and right when you need them, so we have to go and assist with that,” Hoosier National Forest Public Affairs Officer Judi Perez said.
“There are a handful supply of resources that everybody is available and they can get a chance to come out and assist,” Forbey said.
There is a bigger need for help this year and Hoosier National Forest officials say they’ve done as much as they can.
“We’re almost at capacity and can’t really send anybody else because we still have work and maintenance to do on 200,000 acres in the state of Indiana, so that’s a bad year for us, to have that great of a need,” Perez said.
Now, it’s in the hands of Mother Nature.
Three of the twelve Hoosier National Forest firefighters are from the Tell City Ranger District.