BOSTON (CBS) – Twenty Massachusetts firefighters head west to help fight forest fires. The crew consists of 14 firefighters from the Department of Conservation and Recreation, three firefighters from the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, and three urban firefighters.
They left Hopkinton State Forest headquarters on Saturday for western Montana and northern Idaho. The concrete fire is determined when they arrive.
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There are currently 45 large uninsulated fires burning in the Northern Rockies with a total area of over 700,000 acres.
The crew, known as “Type 2 First Attack Manual Crew”, will work on the fire line for up to 14 days to build fire compartments, secure fire boundaries, contain fires and protect structures.
This is his first outing in the West for firefighter Brian Everett, but he is confident that he is well prepared.
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“I’m really looking forward to the opportunity and challenge to have a good trip out there,” said Everett.
Although the fire isn’t common in Massachusetts, Everett said training is still important. “We haven’t had really big fires like we did in the west in the last decade, but it could happen that southeast Massachusetts is an area that could have a big area fire, there is a lot of potential for it.”
“I am grateful for the dedicated Massachusetts firefighters who are part of this mission to serve the residents of the Northwest. Massachusetts has a long and proud history of national and international cooperation in fighting forest fires, and on behalf of the entire Commonwealth, our thoughts go with those affected by those fires, “said Governor Charlie Baker in a statement.
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The crew includes: Roy J. Liard Jr. from Millville; Benjamin Jennell of West Newbury; George LKleczka of Plainville; Brian Mayer of West Gordon; Brian Johnson of Ashburnham; Joseph Nawrocki of New Salem; Aaron Best of Lakeville; Daniel Bove of Worcester; Conor Clancy of Merrimac; Tyler Desautels of Oxford; Brian Everett of Mashpee; Connor Fleming from Fairhaven; Travis Gross of Holliston; Jacob O’Donnell of Millis; Cody Smeaton of Westport; Andrew Theve of Northborough; Derick Valovcin from Holliston; Christopher Fischer from Dracut; Jeffrey M. Belanger of Greenfield; and George L. Nolette of North Brookfield.