BLM recruits reforestation crews in case of emergency

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- Hundreds of firefighters are hanging around the Grand Valley, just in case of a lightning fire.

Reforestation crews out of Oregon are finishing up with the Spring and Lake Christine fires. They say our local Bureau of Land Management officials asked them to make a stop in Grand Junction, just in case we get more fires caused by lighting, like what happened Tuesday in Glade Park.

"We got to be ready to go at a moment's notice,” said Jaime Davila, crew boss for Franco Reforestation Inc.

Wildfire crews from all over the country have packed up and risked their lives to protect ours.

"It’s hard being away from my son but other than that I love it out here,” said Zachary Bellinger, squad boss, Birrueta Reforestation Inc.

Now that the fires are starting to die down across the state, they say the BLM called in their crews to station in Grand Junction.

"We are waiting for any lightning activity that might spark something off to be able to get it before it spreads into big sizes and threatens anything,” said Davila.

After ten lighting caused fires in Glade Park, the crews say they are here to stay, for now at least.

"At any time they could send us to any incident within this area and then once things calm down, then we will be going to other states,” said Davila.

Weather predictions say we may have more lighting on the way.

"There's probably something that’s going to pop off here real soon, a lot of lightning strikes nothing detected yet, but there's eyes out, they'll see the smoke pop up here real soon,” said Bellinger.

These crews have been on the road for weeks. Working in California before heading to Colorado.

"At the Lake Christine Fire we were doing structural protection, also making sure the black edges were all cold,” said Davila.

Our dry conditions and high fire dangers, they're not sure when they will be returning home.

"You just keep going, just one foot in front of the other, keep chunking away, I love it I’ve been doing it for 14 years,” said Bellinger.

They say the BLM has all the tools they need to react quickly and efficiently if a fire happens.

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