Arizona ‘hotshot’ crews in Canada battling massive wildfires
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Fire crews from across Arizona are in Canada to help fight the wildfires burning through more than a million acres of land. The Aravaipa Hotshots are a group of about 20 members in Southeastern Arizona. They are mostly veterans who now focus on battling wildfires.
“We called them type one crews. Hot shot crews are the elite of the bunch that’s what everybody wants to be. It doesn’t make them better, just different,” Gila District Assistant Fire Management Officer Lathe Evans said.
Evans said they are experts on fighting wildfires. They made a nearly three-day drive to remote areas of Northern Canada. They’ve been there for about six days so far. He says the crew will typically stay for two or more weeks and work 16-hour days. They work alongside crews from other states and even countries. “They get to go to these other places and they do stuff differently we get to pick that up learn how they fight fire and hone that into what we do too,” Evans said.
These wildfires are impacting air quality across the Northeast. Particles and smoke from the flames are carrying hundreds of miles away, creating unhealthy or hazardous air conditions for cities and towns from Virginia to New York. Containing the flames would help rural areas of Canada and the ability to breathe for millions of people. “They really enjoy the work they do the fact they can get out and help people is huge.”
We confirmed that a hotshot group from Mesa is in Canada today, but we couldn’t reach them.
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