Local crews ready to help fight fires if needed in California

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) -- Wildfires are a constant threat in California because of the conditions. Here in Colorado, the chance of an out-of-control fire is always a possibility, but experts say they''re less likely this time of year.

"Our wildland fire season usually starts to dip down in early fall, that's when it starts to cool down,” said Zach Leyda, a firefighter with the Grand Junction Fire Department.

Our fire woes are fewer now than what they were just a few weeks ago.

“The coolness and the rain have made it a lot more favorable for less fire," said Leyda.

But elsewhere across the country, the situation is not the same.

"Some areas are picking up, in northern California right now," said Chris Joyner, with the Bureau of Land Management.

"They are always constantly having hot, dry summer in a drought, and that definitely increases the fire danger there, and really makes it a year-round season for them," said Leyda.

The California wildfires have been burning for days, killing more than 30, destroying homes and forcing thousands to evacuate.

"With every geographic area, there's going to be very specific fire patterns," said Joyner.

Crews in the Grand Valley said they haven’t been sent out to help just yet.

“We’ll do that individually or through a team, and then the areas that need help we'll go to that tracking system and be able to locate individuals for an assignment," said Joyner.

But, say they're ready if needed.

"As soon as we get the call the engine boss that's going to be in charge of that crew, calls up all the members of the wildland team to see if they can take the call," said Leyda.

Crews have already helped out across the U.S.

"Our wildland team has spent 75 days in three different states this season," said Leyda.

Experts said they won't leave the Western Slope if we're lacking resources or crew members.

"We do take one of our brush trucks, and that usually goes out on the wildland deployments, but we do also have brush trucks in case any emergencies," said Leyda.

"When we have the resources to accomplish missions here locally, we will make ourselves available through fires across the nation," said Joyner.

While each location can be vastly different geographically, the protocols for how to fight a fire is universal, so additional manpower could help if it's called in.

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