West Virginia firefighters are among the thousands of firefighters trying to control dozens of severe fires in the western part of the country.
The Division of Forestry sent a crew of 20 firefighters out west on Monday for a two-week tour of service in Idaho and Montana, according to a spokesperson. That crew consists of 10 state foresters, five civilian firefighters, and five people from Pennsylvania.
They are all working to suppress fires at the Miners Paradise Complex, south of Livingston, Montana. To view the location of where the firefighters are working, click here.
According to the USDA Forest Service, that fire was sparked by a lightning strike and has burned 11,007 acres as of August 22. That fire also grew 36 percent from the day before.
The West Virginia Division of Forestry also dispatched one person to work with helicopters being used to fight the Beaver Creek fire in Idaho.
That fire has caused the most headlines recently, burning 108,094 acres according to the Forest Service figures. It was also caused by lightning and as of August 22 is only 47 percent contained.
All of the people who were dispatched are trained in wild land firefighting, according to a WV Division of Forestry spokesperson, and were sought out only after the local resources were exhausted.
In all, the USDA Forest Service reports 50 large uncontained fires, four new fires, and two large contained fires spanning the west, which include five fires in Alaska. That has sparked a Level 5 in threat preparedness, the highest threat level possible, for the first time in five years.
The crew from West Virginia is expected to return September 1.