Utah Hotshot fire crews battle blazes in Western states

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SALT LAKE CITY – There are four Hotshot fire crews in Utah, and they regularly face great peril as they fight fires.

The crews in Utah are called in to fight large fires, like the one that claimed the lives of 19 wildland firefighters in Arizona Sunday.

Jason Curry is the spokesman for Utah Forestry, Fire and Lands, and he said crews like the Lone Peak Hotshots are incredible at what they do.

“They are the most elite of our firefighting resources,” he said. “They're the most highly trained, most experienced, and the most in-shape firefighters in the wildland world.”

Curry said the news of the tragedy in Arizona has sent shock waves through the firefighting community.

“It hits you right in the gut,” he said. “And it's hard to imagine. It's hard to comprehend the grief those people are dealing with.”

Utah’s four Hotshot crews are currently spread across three western states, where they are fighting fires in the most difficult conditions and terrain.