Watch CBS News

Colorado Sends 20 Fire Engines And Their Crews To Help In California

DENVER (CBS4) - Dozens of firefighters from fire departments across Colorado are heading west as wildfires continue to engulf California.

Thomas Rogers from South Metro Fire Rescue is headed to Chino, California where they'll then be dispatched to where they're needed most. His group of 4 is driving in a type 3 fire engine.

"It's the largest and most capable wildland truck. They're four-wheel drive so they can go off-road and take the fight into the forest," he told CBS4's Dominic Garcia.

Rogers says that when Colorado was battling the Waldo Canyon and Black Forest Fires other states sent resources to help, this is their way of saying thank you.

"The actual wildland community is fairly small. There's actually a better than average chance we'll run into people we know from other incidents we've been on," said Rogers.

The deadliest and the most destructive group of fires in California history have been burning in Sonoma County and other areas this month.

Multiple Wildfires Continue To Ravage Through California Wine Country
A firefighter uses a drip torch to set a backfire to protect houses in Adobe Canyon during the Nuns Fire on Oct. 15, 2017, near Santa Rosa, California. At least 40 people were killed while many are still missing, and at least 5,700 buildings have been destroyed since wildfires broke out a week ago. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

Colorado officials announced that crews from the following departments will all be leaving Monday for a 14-day deployment. All will be bringing a fire engine with them, except for the Douglas County crew:

  • Hotchkiss Fire District
  • Poudre Valley Fire Authority
  • Northeast Teller County Fire District
  • Telluride Fire Protection District
  • Upper Pine River Fire Protection District
  • Lake Dillon Fire Rescue
firefighters (1)
(credit: CBS)
  • Berthoud Fire Protection District
firefighters (2)
(credit: CBS)
  • Fairmount Fire
  • Tallahassee Volunteer Fire Protection
  • South Metro Fire Rescue
A fire engine gets ready to depart for California.(credit: South Metro Fire Rescue)
  • Elk Creek Fire Department
  • Arvada Fire Protection District
  • Greeley Fire Department
  • Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control Alamosa Engine
  • Aspen Fire Department
  • Grand Fire Protection District
  • Aurora Fire Rescue
  • Thornton Fire Department
  • Lefthand Fire Protection District
  • Douglas County Sheriff's Office

"I dropped my kids off at school this morning and headed out. I told them California needed help," Dan Ross with Lake Dillon Fire Rescue told CBS4 on Monday. "It's good to represent Colorado and go help another state in need."

The crews will be heading to Chino, California.

"Strike teams from Colorado are heading to southern California right now to be prepositioned and assigned to start helping if new fires start," Lake Dillon Fire Rescue spokesman Dan Ross said. "The big thing is their resources out there have been kind of tapped. They've been working hard trying to protect everything so now we're coming in to try to get them a little relief."

Last week, CBS4 reported that many Colorado firefighting agencies had added their names to a national list of crews available to respond to California if needed. Resources in neighboring states, like Washington and Oregon, have already been helping their Pacific neighbor.

A second group of Colorado firefighters could also head out later this week.

Wildfire Resources

- Visit's Living With Wildfire section.

Wildfire Photo Galleries

- See images from the most destructive wildfires (Black Forest, Waldo Canyon, High Park and Fourmile), the deadliest (Storm King) and largest wildfire (Hayman) in Colorado history.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.