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Michigan Firefighters Volunteer To Fight Western Blazes

Truck in Desert
Michigan Department of Natural Resources
The state Department of Natural Resources sent equipment as well as crews to fight fires out west.

Some Michigan firefighters are in the Western U.S. right now helping battle massive wildfires that have taken over parts of the country.

The state Department of Natural Resources started sending firefighters who volunteered west in August to help with efforts to control wildfires.

The out-of-state assignments are part of a nationwide cooperative system.

As of September 10, the department had 17 people out on individual assignments and dispatched five engines with either two or three person crews.

Paul Dunn is a DNR firefighter from Beaverton who just returned from Los Angeles fighting the Lake Fire.

“It’s devastating seeing homes that were burnt and, you know, the landscape gone. Because, you know, you’re driving by, you’re seeing all these trees and all of a sudden, there’s nothing. It’s like, wow,” he said.

Dunn said a lot of his time was spent monitoring it to make sure there weren’t any flareups. “We were there doing a lot of stuff that you don’t see on TV,”  he said.

“So, we’re doing a lot of behind the scenes things. There’s not a lot of fire. There’s not a lot of smoke.”

Michigan firefighters have also been dispatched to Colorado, Arizona, Utah and Oregon. The state is being fully reimbursed for the cost of sending firefighters to assist in other states.

This post has been updated for clarification.

Sophia Saliby is the local producer and host of All Things Considered, airing 4pm-7pm weekdays on 90.5 FM WKAR.
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