The fatalities from the Arizona wildfire have rocked the nation, and perhaps the only group affected more than the victim's families is their second family, their fellow firefighters.
The loss of a firefighter is bad under any circumstance, but in this case the grief was multiplied by 19.
"One is tragic, but 19 is devastating," said Dave Martin with the USDA Forest Service.
"When something like this happens it does send shock waves across our wild land fire community. We all feel it," said Mike Davis with the USDA Forest Service.
That's because even though they're thousands of miles away here in Georgia, the wildfire experts have a special bond with the victims, partly because they know what they were up against, but also because it's possible they crossed paths with some of them along the way.
"We often run into each other across our nation on wildfires. Here in Georgia we very well could know people in California, Oregon, Washington or anywhere across the U.S. so it does hit close to home," said Davis.
Georgia does get its fair share of wildfires and even though the vegetation and environment is drastically different than in Arizona, the methods to fight it are the same.
One thing that isn't the same is the amount of wildfire resources. Georgia doesn't have as many as out west, but that doesn't mean help is far off.
"We're very well prepared for what we would call an initial attack of small fires and as fire develops into higher complexity or a larger incident, we're always communicating with the command center here to make sure resources that are needed are on the way or close," said Martin.
Copyright 2013 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
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