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Firefighters around U.S. battle Black Forest Fire

By Emily Allen, Multimedia Journalist /Target 13 Investigator , emily.allen@krdo.com
Published On: Jun 18 2013 02:10:21 PM CDT
Updated On: Jun 19 2013 02:08:40 PM CDT

Firefighters from all over the country fought on the Black Forest Fire's front lines Thursday.

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. -

Firefighters from all over the country fought on the Black Forest Fire's front lines Thursday. 

States sent in firefighters from Minnesota, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Colorado, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Montana and Oregon. They're here to support local firefighters in their battle with Colorado's worst-ever wildfire.

One Idaho-based group jumped into action as soon as the fire exploded a week ago. The group's leader, Justin Figgins, said it's "business as usual."

Figgins and his 20-person team work for the U.S. Forest Service. They call Idaho home, but only a few months a year. They fight fires around the U.S. from late spring to late fall.

Figgins said the local outreach and support made the team's work in the Black Forest Fire memorable.

"I have been doing this for 13 seasons and I've probably seen this level of support maybe once or twice. It's really incredible. It makes it all worthwhile," said Figgins.

Raquel Huisman and her three children waved signs and cheered as firefighters changed shifts near Pine Creek High School.

Huisman and her family were evacuated from their home in Flying Horse Ranch. Their home is still standing.

"They saved our home and they saved our neighborhood and we're so grateful for everything that they're doing," said Huisman.

Melinda Gebauer and her two sons applauded and whistled as firefighters drove past.

"(I feel) overwhelmed with happiness that they come out during this difficult time," said Gebauer.

The Idaho crew left Colorado Springs Tuesday morning for their next wildfire assignment.

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