Connecticut Firefighters to Help Battle California Blazes

Twenty Connecticut firefighters are headed to Northern California to help fight wild fires.

The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said the crew left early Tuesday morning and will work with the U.S. Forest Service.

The crew includes staff members of the state environmental agency and 10 local firefighters.

"To me, it's helping someone helping the next person, helping the neighbor," said Sergio Liguori, a volunteer firefighter from New Milford. "That's the satisfaction that I get, you know, by going out there, knowing that I'm helping a house not to burn or to save people from getting burned."

Westport Assistant Fire Chief Michael Kronick is also making the trip.

In 2013, he assist emergency responders with a fire in the Northern Province of Quebe, Canada. He has also been deployed out West several times before, according to a statement from the fire department.

A raging Northern California wildfire has destroyed at least two dozen homes in the past few days. More than 13,000 people were urged to flee.

It's the largest fire in the drought-stricken state and tripled in size over the weekend to 93 square miles.

The U.S. Forest Service operates a reciprocal aid program in which trained personnel can help Connecticut if needed. Fire crews from Connecticut helped battle fires in California in August of last year.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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