Department of Conservation employee shares Wyoming firefighting experience

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CAP GIRARDEAU, Missouri (KFVS) – Massive forest fires are spreading across the western United States and they are so severe that some people in the Heartland are being called for help.

“It was a very unique experience,” said Jennifer Behnken.

Missouri Department of Conservation staff mobilized to help fight the fires in the west.

“As the severity increases, the interjacencies cry out at that level of severity to be able to acquire resources out of state and that’s where we come in,” Behnken said.

Community forester Jennifer Behnken, who normally works in Cape Giradeau, served in Wyoming for two weeks with the Missouri-Iowa Interagency Coordination Center.

“They will make sure we have a plan in mind, they will send the crew where they need to go,” she said.

“We are doing our part to make sure that the fire stays out and that there are no embers that could possibly start a forest fire elsewhere,” she said.

Although she found it difficult, she said it was worth it.

“The gratitude we have received from people really goes a long way, knowing that our contributions and hard work make it worth the effort is truly something that says why it’s worth the time, energy and resources. to be able to do it. ,” she said.

She trains every year in case she is needed in a similar emergency.

“It’s a sacrifice; people are away for two to three weeks at a time, so we have to make sure that everything on the home front can stay in good working order and I am very happy that I had this opportunity to go ”, a- she declared.

She said the wildfire season typically runs from June to October.

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