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MS Forestry personnel return from fighting western wildfires

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(Photo by skeeze from Pixabay)

Over the last several months, the Mississippi Forestry Commission has deployed personnel and equipment to assist states experiencing catastrophic wildfires.

From late July to early August, the MFC deployed seven wildland firefighters, two bulldozers and two other vehicles to Texas to assist the Texas Forest Service with containing multiple fires scattered across the state. Additionally, one wildland firefighter was sent to Colorado and a second was sent to Oregon to assist officials in those states.

“Everyone is well aware of the wildfires raging in California, Colorado and Oregon. There have also been devastating wildfires across Texas over the last few months,” said MFC State Forester Russell Bozeman in a statement. “Fortunately, we were in a position to be able to send resources to these four states to help them in their battle against these wildfires.”

In late August, a 20-person MFC hand-tool crew was deployed to Colorado to assist federal and state officials with suppression efforts on the Pine Gulch Fire. After only a few days at Pine Gulch, the MFC crew was redeployed to the Cameron Peak fire near Fort Collins.

“We appreciate our employees volunteering to be part of these efforts to help our state and federal partners,” Bozeman said. “Fighting the destructive power of wildfire means our wildland firefighters work long hours in extreme conditions protecting people’s lives, homes and forestland.”

All MFC employees have returned home safely and have started preparing for the start of the fall wildfire season in Mississippi.

“Our wildland firefighters who deployed to these states not only helped our state and federal partners in their efforts, but they also gained valuable experience that will make them better firefighters here at home,” Bozeman said.

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