Governor Lamont Announces Connecticut Interstate Fire Crew Deploys To Fight Wildfires in Montana
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that sixteen members of the Connecticut Interstate Fire Crew (CIFC) mobilized early this morning from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s (DEEP) Eastern District Headquarters in Marlborough to fight wildfires in Montana.
The crew represents the latest team of personnel and resources sent from Connecticut to assist with national and Canadian wildfire response. Their flight departed from Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks. During the multi-week deployment, the crew will primarily work in western Montana.
“Interstate compacts are critical in times of emergency, providing lifesaving resources to our friends in need when a crisis occurs,” Governor Lamont said. “The Connecticut Interstate Fire Crew is comprised of an amazing group of people who are dropping everything at a moment’s notice to travel hundreds of miles away and provide assistance. They embody the finest of what our small but mighty state offers. I thank them for their heroic service.”
“Our brave firefighters once again make Connecticut proud as they head far from home to help battle wildfires, this time in Montana’s Rocky Mountains,” DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes said. “We are so grateful for their selfless courage as they take time away from friends and family. We wish them and all the responding firefighters well and look forward to their safe returns.”
The CIFC members who deployed include 12 people from Connecticut, among them three full-time DEEP staff members. The remainder of the crew is composed of volunteers from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New York. A Connecticut crew member is also supervising the administrative and financial responsibilities for the deployment. The Connecticut firefighters deployed are from the following towns:
- East Berlin
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 Canada in the 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. All state agency expenses directly associated with these deployments are 100% reimbursed to the state by the U.S. Forest Service.
For more information about the CIFC, visit portal.ct.gov/DEEP/Forestry/Forest-Fire/Connecticut-Interstate-Fire-Crew.