Utah Firefighters Headed Out to Aid Californians

Utah Firefighters Headed Out to Aid Californians

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Alex Cabrero ReportingSome of Utah's bravest are helping put out the wildfires in California. Crews from across the state are on their way or already in California tonight.

With all the fires in Utah this summer, our state got a lot of help. So when the call came from California, our teams believed this was a way for them to return the favor.

After a very busy wildfire season in Utah, firefighter Charlie Peterson and his crew are now helping Southern California.

"We're assisting the local departments here. They're strapped and have very large fires burning in the area," he said.

This team is from southern Utah, the Color Country firefighters. They're just a few of the 8,000 firefighters trying to get the blazes under control.

They've been so busy, in the middle of our interview, Peterson and his team got a call and had to leave. It seems new fires keep popping up all the time and firefighters keep scrambling to get to them.

More help is on the way, but for now it's almost nonstop work. Twelve firefighters from Utah's Unified Fire Authority are heading to southern California to fight the fires.

California authorities called for a certain number of wildland firefighters and all of their gear, including fire engines. Seven Utah firefighters left this morning, and five more left tonight. Once there, they'll be sent where they're needed most.

Greg Vanderwerff, with Unified Fire Authority, said, "We're not taking the situation lightly. We realize people's livelihoods are at stake, people are losing their homes. It's a tragic event; it's an emergency situation. We're excited to go help because that's what we train to do."

The firefighters aren't sure how long they'll be in California but say they'll stay as long as needed.

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