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CHARLES CITY, IA – A wildfire in Arizona killed 19 elite firefighters over the weekend.
The group was part of a Hot Shot crew, and members are specially trained to work in grueling conditions to fight wild land fires.
While this tragic news is affecting people across the country, we’re learning of a north Iowa connection to that Arizona crew.
“Cindy come down that morning was in the kitchen and looked like she’d seen a ghost.”
Lyle and Cindy’s son, Noah is a Hot Shot firefighter in Colorado and has been fighting the wild land fires in Colorado Springs. They know that Hot Shot crews are the best of the best when it comes to fighting the tricky flames.
“They do extensive training specifically with the weather conditions so Noah has to learn kind of like a meteorologist about how a fire can change dynamics because of change in the wind speed or the humidity,” says Cindy.
Noah is apart of a 20-man team called the Pike Hot Shots.
For three years he has been traveling all around the west coast fighting dangerous fires, he’s even been in Arizona and worked with members of the Hot Shot crew that were killed over the weekend.
“I heard their manager say they’ve been with them. They’ve fought fires with them.”
Charles City Fire Chief Eric Whipple says firefighters have a sense of brotherhood and hearing of a loss like this is never easy.
“Anytime a department across the country loses firefighters were all affected it reminds us of what we actually do and the safety we have to take, safety precautions we have to take everyday when we’re fighting fires,” says Whipple.
Noah’s parents know his job is a dangerous one but they say they trust his training.
“I can’t imagine what those families are going through, they I’m sure had the same level of trust in the system and everything that we did but you know they’re at risk obviously, it’s a very dangerous profession,” Lyle and Cindy add.