Connecticut Interstate Fire Crew Deploys to Fight North Carolina Wildfires
(HARTFORD) — Three members of the Connecticut Interstate Fire Crew (CIFC) mobilized early Sunday morning from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP)’s Eastern District Headquarters in Marlborough to fight wildfires in North Carolina.
The crew represents the latest team of personnel and resources sent from Connecticut on a multi-week deployment to assist with national and Canadian wildfire responses.
“These firefighters who uproot their lives to travel far from home and battle wildfires make us immensely proud,” said DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes. “We are so grateful for their courage and service as they deploy far from home. We wish them and all the responding firefighters well and look forward to their safe returns.”
The CIFC crew is entirely composed of Connecticut firefighters, two of whom are DEEP employees, who deployed from the following towns:
Much like Connecticut experienced in the 2020 and 2022 fall fire seasons, western North Carolina and surrounding states are experiencing episodic or extended droughts. These droughts are increasing the already high fire risk created by freshly fallen leaves. These non-typical, extended drought events are associated with a changing climate.
DEEP’s Forestry Division coordinates the CIFC, for which it maintains a roster of agency staff members and private individuals, many associated with local fire departments, who have been certified to fight forest or wildfires. Crew members must complete a rigorous training program and participate in an annual physical work capacity test and refresher training. CIFC crewmembers have also assisted in Montana, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Nova Scotia this year.
Connecticut maintains this firefighting capability to participate in a reciprocal aid program operated by the U.S. Forest Service. Under this program, trained personnel from other parts of the nation are available to assist Connecticut in the event of a fire emergency or other natural disaster in return for the support of Connecticut personnel when needed.
For more information about the CIFC, visit Connecticut Interstate Fire Crew.
Photo of District Fire Warden Bruce Villwock (L) seeing off the three firefighters yesterday morning.