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Columbus, Red Lodge sending crews to fight California fires - KTVQ.com | Q2 | Continuous News Coverage | Billings, MT

Columbus, Red Lodge sending crews to fight California fires

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Three Columbus firefighters will head to southern California to help fight the wildfires.

Columbus Fire/Rescue Chief Rich Cowger says the firefighters will take an engine and work with other teams, including from Montana.

"They'll be in a little different terrain, a little different environment down there and fuel types. but the job's the same,"Cowger said. "And they'll be with seasoned people that are familiar with the circumstances. So it's not like they're going to go into it completely blind. But they're trained up for this situation. they know the hazards and the dangers and stuff to look out for."

Red Lodge, Belgrade, Big Sky, Missoula City, Missoula Rural, Evergreen and Big Fork will send crews, according to Cowger.

He said a total of 55 firefighters and 16 engines will help with the fires.

Cowger expects his crew to head to the resource center in Chino, Calif.

Lee Westervelt, Rick Ruiz and Mike Solberg will leave Columbus at 6 a.m. on Thursday.

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