Battling wildfires: Utah firefighters replace crew in Montana

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – A new group of Utah firefighters are once again answering calls to Montana, replacing another crew from Utah.

“The crew that is up there now will be heading home,” Unified Fire Division Chief Anthony Widdison says. “Then we will be replacing that crew and looking at getting more crews as well, not necessarily from Utah but all over the region.”

Weber Fire District‘s Sarah Norton is among the 21 firefighters headed to Montana. She is an operator and paramedic for Weber Fire and was in Oregon last month helping firefighters.

“This is the first time I think I have actually been the only female,” Norton explains. “It’s definitely a male dominated career. It is very fulfilling to, and satisfying to be able to go out and help people and protect the land.”

Norton says she is proud she has the proper training and hopes she can show other women they can fight fires too.

According to Montana fire officials, in total, fires have destroyed 38 homes displacing 600 Montanans and half a million acres across Montana have burned. Right now, there are 67 active fires.

“There is a lot of fire activity up there right now wildfires are resource and labor intensive projects,” Chief Widdison shares. “We will be boots on the ground operators where ever they need us.”

These firefighters will be deployed for 16 days and report to Montana’s capitol Helena.

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