3 hotshot crews deployed in AZ from other states to help with wildfires

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There are three hotshot crews deployed here; one in southern Arizona, one in the central part of the state and one up north. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) There are three hotshot crews deployed here; one in southern Arizona, one in the central part of the state and one up north. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The Winema Hotshots are from Klamath Falls, Oregon. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The Winema Hotshots are from Klamath Falls, Oregon. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
They've already been here for a week to help out, given our particularly dry conditions. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) They've already been here for a week to help out, given our particularly dry conditions. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Out-of-town hotshot crews are already staged in Arizona, ready to jump on the fire line. There are three hotshot crews deployed here; one in southern Arizona, one in the central part of the state and one up north.

[Related: Forest officials implement rare area closures to prevent wildfires]

"It can be a little warmer than where we're from, but everyone is very friendly. We get a lot of waves up and down the highway and we appreciate that," said Philip Capurro.

He and the rest of the Winema Hotshots are from Klamath Falls, Oregon. They've already been here for a week to help out, given our particularly dry conditions. They jumped into action over the weekend on the Potato Fire.

[Related: Wildfire closed State Route 87 near Payson]

"You could tell it was drier than usual and burning more active than usual," Capurro said.

This trip, they get to stay at a hotel. But that doesn't make being away from home any easier.

[RELATED: Forest officials implement rare area closures to prevent wildfires]

"Most of the birthdays and weddings and barbecues that happen for most folks in the summer, we miss all of those," Capurro said.

And they're doing dangerous work.

"Most of our injuries are environmental, heat stroke, dehydration, stuff like that," said hotshot member and EMT Sara Welge. "Occasionally, trauma from slipping, falling stuff like that."

[SPECIAL SECTION: Arizona wildfires]

"We have crews here from California, Oregon, Montana, Colorado," said Tiffany Davila with the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management.

She said this is their off-season. And when it's Arizona's, we'll send help, too.

"We sent a few hundred firefighters last year and equipment as well to the Thomas Fire and fires in Napa and the Sonoma regions," Davila said.

[RELATED: Red Cross says now is the time to prepare for wildfire season and evacuations]

Capurro expects they'll fight even more fires while they're here.

"We're happy to be here, happy to help out the local folks,"  Capurro said.

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Lindsey ReiserLindsey Reiser is a Scottsdale native and an award-winning multimedia journalist.

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Lindsey Reiser

Lindsey returned to the Valley in 2010 after covering border and immigration issues in El Paso, TX. While in El Paso she investigated public corruption, uncovered poor business practices, and routinely reported on the violence across the border.

Lindsey feels honored to have several awards under her belt, including a Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Award, Hearst Journalist Award, and several National Broadcast Education Association Awards.

Lindsey is a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, and she currently serves as a mentor to journalism students. She studied for a semester in Alicante, Spain and also earned a degree in Spanish at ASU.

She is proud to serve as a member of United Blood Services’ Community Leadership Council, a volunteer advisory board for the UBS of Arizona.

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