california wildfires

Connecticut's Interstate Fire Crew Returns from Battling California Wildfires

A group of 10 firefighters returned to the East Coast after battling California wildfires for almost three weeks.

This year's return for the men and women of Connecticut's Interstate Fire Crew was a little different from the typical fanfare. Instead of the balloons, they were met with temperature checks. The checks are a precautionary measure by the state's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Firefighter Jed Morrissey is still living in the moment after helping his fellow firefighters in California.

"I've never been out there as a wild fireman before so it was neat," said Morrissey. "They only called us because they were out of resources and they needed more help."

Morrissey is one of the nine Connecticut firefighters who is certified to help on tours when there's an outbreak of wildfires.

"It just underscores the importance of having our personal, our crews who are up to speed, up with their certifications and we always make sure they have the right training," said Katie Dykes, Commissioner of DEEP. "We're incredibly proud of their efforts and happy to see that they made it back safely."

The group was stationed at the Modoc National Forest Area and had the task of working to attack some of the rashes of fires in northeast California.

"It was very rugged terrain, the fuels, were extremely dry," said Ben Arnold, Crew Boss for C.T. Interstate Fire Crew. "The section we were working in had a history of being in fire danger."

Both Arnold and Morrissey tell NBC Connecticut that they are thankful to be back and look forward to the next tour to lend a helping hand.

"I enjoy the job and a lot of times that's where I get my satisfaction from," said Ben Arnold. "For those guys to say 'hey, we need help out here' and to be able to go out there and help was an incredible feeling," said Morrissey.

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