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Utah firefighters heading to Montana to help fight dozens of wildfires

Posted at 11:43 AM, Aug 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-05 13:48:34-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah firefighters are heading north to Montana to help that state as they deal with dozens of wild land blazes.

“The good news is that Utah is able to spare these crews to help other states because right now they are not desperately needed here at home. We have a lot of smoke, but many surrounding states are dealing with a lot of fire,” said Utah Fire Authority Chief Dusty Dern.

“And we want to support the neighboring states . . . if we ever have a situation where we want resources, we’d like to have that opportunity to ask for resources from the surrounding states."

"Task Force One" comprised of 22 firefighters and their equipment are replacing the old Task Force One, which returned from fighting fires in Oregon.

This is the third deployment for a Utah Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) team, comprised of firefighters from West Valley city, Unified Fire, Lone Peak, Weber and West Jordan.

It’s the second time this summer a Utah EMAC is heading to Montana.

“They have had a rough summer and nationally . . . resources are scarce, and so states and jurisdictions are looking for resources wherever they can," said Chief Dern.

After a briefing they will be on the front lines somewhere in Montana tomorrow, with a plan to return home in 16 days.