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COVID-19 will alter fire-fighting strategy this year

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Wyoming State Forestry Division

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (KIFI/KIDK)-Wyoming firefighters are expecting a multitude of fires will threaten lives and property this summer, in other words, a normal year.

The Wyoming State Forestry Division says all be aggressively suppressed. 

The division maintains a helicopter and crew to help fight fires.  This year, it has added additional aviation capacity, including two Single-Engine Air Tankers (SEATs).

The helitak team has helped suppress several fires already this year and the evacuation of one family that was threatened by a fire.

Forestry officials say their objective is to keep fires small and reduce risk to firefighters.  The division believes that will also limit the need for incoming firefighter resources, which could put the public at risk to potential exposure of COVID-19.

Because of social distancing requirements, the division said fire suppression strategy and tactics will limit the number of resources on a fire.  Multiple fire camps may be necessary to adequately protect firefighters and the public.

Most Wyoming wildfires are human caused, so Forestry officials are asking the public to be especially vigilant with recreational fires this year.

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