Firefighters from MO, Iowa help to control western wildfires - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Firefighters from MO, Iowa help to control western wildfires

ROLLA, MO (KFVS) -

Missouri and Iowa firefighters joined forces to fight the wildfires in the western United States.

Since the beginning of the year the Missouri-Iowa Coordination Center, which is in Rolla, has dispatched 271 firefighters to the multi-state wildfires.

Currently there are 121 people working 50 different fires in Montana, Idaho, California, Washington and Oregon.

Crew members dispatched are from the Missouri Department of Conservation, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Mark Twain National Forest, National Park Service and US Fish & Wildlife Service.

Every crew member is expected to work a 14-day assignment and then take at least two days off to rest.

"Firefighting is difficult and dangerous work," said Jody Eberly, Mark Twain National Forest fire management manager. "Firefighters routinely work 16-hour days in rough and steep terrain. They dig fire lines, saw trees and brush, and conduct bourn-out operations. The conditions are hot and dry, and many wildfires are at altitudes that are a challenge to Midwest firefighters."

In the past 15 years, Missouri and Iowa firefighters have responded to floods, hurricanes, ice storms, oil spills, large public gatherings, World Trade Center attack September 2001, and wildfires in Australia, among other incidents.

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