Connecticut Interstate Fire Crew Deploys To Fight Wildfires in Montana

Sixteen members of the Connecticut Interstate Fire Crew deployed from Marlborough to Montana early Tuesday morning on a mission to assist with wildfire response.

Governor Ned Lamont yesterday announced that sixteen members of the Connecticut Interstate Fire Crew (CIFC) mobilized early this morning from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s (DEEP) Eastern District Headquarters in Marlborough to fight wildfires in Montana.

The crew represents the latest team of personnel and resources sent from Connecticut to assist with national and Canadian wildfire response. Their flight departed from Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks. During the multi-week deployment, the crew will primarily work in western Montana.

The CIFC members who deployed include 12 people from Connecticut, among them three full-time DEEP staff members. The remainder of the crew is composed of volunteers from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New York. A Connecticut crew member is also supervising the administrative and financial responsibilities for the deployment. The Connecticut firefighters deployed are from the following towns:

  • Cheshire
  • Coventry
  • East Berlin
  • Enfield
  • Lebanon
  • Milford
  • Norwich
  • Stratford
  • Tolland

DEEP’s Forestry Division coordinates the CIFC, for which it maintains a roster of agency staff members and private individuals, many associated with local fire departments, who have been certified to fight forest or wildfires. Crew members must complete a rigorous training program and participate in an annual physical work capacity test and refresher training. CIFC crewmembers have also assisted Canada in the provinces of Quebec and Nova Scotia this year.

Connecticut maintains this firefighting capability to participate in a reciprocal aid program operated by the U.S. Forest Service. Under this program, trained personnel from other parts of the nation are available to assist Connecticut in the event of a fire emergency or other natural disaster in return for the support of Connecticut personnel when needed. All state agency expenses directly associated with these deployments are 100% reimbursed to the state by the U.S. Forest Service.

For more information about the CIFC, visit portal.ct.gov/DEEP/Forestry/Forest-Fire/Connecticut-Interstate-Fire-Crew.


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