Governor Jan Brewer today announced the State of Arizona is actively contributing to ongoing fire containment efforts in Colorado and Utah.
"Arizona knows well the devastation that large wildfires can leave in their wake," said Governor Brewer. "So, I'm pleased that Arizona is able to provide firefighting manpower and equipment to neighboring states battling some of their most damaging fires on record. I thank the Arizona Forestry Division for lending a helping hand to our neighbors during their time of greatest need."
To date, the Arizona State Forestry Division has sent ten fire engines; one water tender; one crew; and five overhead personnel to Colorado to assist in suppression efforts. There are currently 65 Arizona personnel assigned to the state's multiple fires. All contributions -- with the exception of the water tender, which was privately contracted -- are resources provided by Arizona fire departments.
Colorado is currently battling eight uncontained large fires, including the 16,750-acre Waldo Canyon Fire that has destroyed 347 residences; continues to threaten more than 23,000 residences; and has evacuated an estimated 32,000 individuals.
Additionally, Arizona has sent seven overhead personnel -- all part of an Arizona Type 2 Interagency Management team -- to the Seeley Fire in Utah, near Provo. Two of these personnel are from the Arizona Forestry Division, while the remaining five are from State fire departments. As of this morning, the Seeley Fire has scorched nearly 16,000 acres of land and continues to threaten structures. The State also has sent four engines, consisting of twelve individuals, to the 45,000-acre Clay Springs Fire near Oak Creek, Utah. These engines and personnel are from State fire departments.
"Wildfires of this magnitude that are burning across Colorado and Utah cannot be handled without the assistance of additional firefighting resources from other parts of the country," said Scott Hunt, Arizona State Forester. "I am pleased that we can send some of our wildland firefighting personnel and equipment to these other states, as Arizona has had to call on their help in our time of need with the large fires we have experienced the last several years."