COLUMBUS, OH -- A 20-person crew of Ohio firefighters has been dispatched to Colorado as part of a multi-state team mobilized to help suppress major forest fires in the western United States, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
At the request of the U.S. Forest Service, the Ohio Interagency Fire Crew left Columbus Saturday morning for a staging area in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. They joined four other crews from Maryland and Pennsylvania on a charter flight to Durango, Colorado. The crews will remain on the wildfire fighting assignment for two weeks.
The U.S. Forest Service requested the Ohio crews support to relieve crews working on some of the larger fires in the western states. The Ohioans are currently assigned to the 71,000-acre Missionary Ridge fire now 15 miles north of Durango, Colorado.
Members of the Ohio crew include nine ODNR employees, three employees from the National Park Service and eight firefighters not affiliated with a state or federal agency.
Under our agreement with the U.S. Forest Service, ODNR and other government agencies in Ohio stand ready to share firefighting resources with other jurisdictions in the United States, Canada and Mexico, said Mike Bowden, fire supervisor with the ODNR Division of Forestry. All personnel costs and other expenses are reimbursed by the federal government, Bowden said.
In recent years, Ohio crews have been assigned to fight fires in Montana, Nevada, Florida, California, Oregon and Washington.
For Further Information Contact:
Bill Schultz, ODNR Division of Forestry
Andy Ware, ODNR Media Relations