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Utah firefighters assisting Colorado fire crews

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) – Winds are fueling massive wildfires in several of Utah’s neighboring states. Right now ten of thousands of people are being evacuated from the homes in Colorado, and Utah crews are there helping fire teams battle the blaze.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) – Winds are fueling massive wildfires in several of Utah’s neighboring states. Right now ten of thousands of people are being evacuated from the homes in Colorado, and Utah crews are there helping fire teams battle the blaze.

Firefighters in Colorado aren't battling their fires alone. Dozens of crews combined from Ogden, Syracuse, Lone Peak, Zion National Park, and other cities are all there trying to stop flames from destroying more Colorado neighborhoods. Those teams can use all the help they can get.

A raging blaze burning in Colorado Springs is now considered Colorado's most destructive wildfire ever, and fire crews from Utah are seeing it firsthand.

"Conditions out here are ripe for a fire," said David Eaker, Fire Information Officer, Great Basin Team 2.

Thursday Reporter Brian Carlson spoke over the phone with Fire Information Officer Dave Eaker from Zion's National Park. Eaker is currently in Colorado with a multi-state fire management team battling the Black Forest Fire. He said fighting this fire has been an uphill battle. Flames have destroyed nearly 15,000 acres, 360 homes and it is believed to have killed two people.

"How difficult is fighting this fire right now for you guys?” asked Brian Carlson.

“It's been somewhat difficult and challenging because of the high winds that they've been facing which sometimes keeps the air, air resources out of there," said Eaker.

Eaker is one of 55 Utahns fighting the Colorado wildfires, and there are an additional 200 to 250 Utah fire crews battles blazes in Arizona and New Mexico. But that doesn't mean all of Utah's wildfire teams are busy out- of-state.

"Other resources from other states will go, but we always have enough resources here to take care of what we need to if something broke here," said Kathy Jo Pollock, Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest.

But for Utah crews trying to save hundreds of Colorado homes, right now that's the only thing on their minds.

At last check, at least 41,000 people in Colorado have been evacuated from their homes. The Black Forest fire is only 5% contained.

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Follow Brian Carlson on Twitter:@tv_briancarlson
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