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Local Firefighters Mourn The Loss Of The Nineteen Arizona Firefighters

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By Brandon Redmond

Kimberly, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) Fire departments across the magic valley lowered their flags to half staff on Monday. The nineteen firefighters who died in Arizona is the largest emergency personnel loss since September 11th, 2001.

"We lowered to half staff. Usually that is a Presidential order and because of the tragedy and because we do have BLM here at the station, it was the right thing to do," said Stacey Thomas with the Rock Creek Fire Department.

The Rock Creek Fire Department ensures their firefighters are properly trained to handle wildfires.

"What we do is we do some training, wild land training. We went through a refresher course. So we went Monday and Tuesday Nights, we did some training, the classroom portion. And we also did a field day," said Stacey Thomas with the Rock Creek Fire Department.

The training is just part of keeping firefighters safe. When the Rock Creek Fire Department arrives at a wildfire, they're constantly evaluating the fire.

"We have to do a scene size up. We have to look and see exactly what we've got. What size of the fire, what way the wind is blowing, what kind of resources we have available, what the wind is doing, weather conditions," said Stacey Thomas.

The best way to help keep firefighters safe is to prevent wildfires. The heat and Fourth of July fireworks create a particularly dangerous time.

"The Fire Prevention Order which goes into place in May and is there through October actually makes several actions illegal on public land and one of those actions is lighting fireworks," said Heather Tiel-Nelson with the Bureau of Land Management.

If you're caught setting off fireworks on public land, you can be subject to fines and even jail time.


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