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Nebraska firefighters battle Colorado wildfires

A trio of firefighters from Gering are helping contain the Grizzly Creek blaze. 6 News caught up with the crew Wednesday as they finished up another grueling nightshift
s flames light up the Colorado skies, on the ground a crew from Gering, Nebraska battles.
s flames light up the Colorado skies, on the ground a crew from Gering, Nebraska battles.
Published: Aug. 26, 2020 at 7:05 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - As flames light up the Colorado skies, on the ground a crew from Gering, Nebraska battles.

“You’re sitting on probably a 60 degree slope, walking on moon dust that’s a foot thick, and rocks that are the size of trucks that you’re trying to walk over,” said Jeff Vance, a Gering firefighter.

Vance has been fighting fires for 22 years; he knows how to handle the tough situations.

“You’re just so well trained you know what steps to take. You’re always on the lookout and put yourself in the best place so you’re not getting yourself hurt,” said Vance, noting he’s not doing it on his own. In fact, this time around his father Darrell is with him.

“It’s something that’s never happened before,” said Vance. “We’ve never been on a big one together, so it’s different. It’s been a good time.

The crew is putting in some long overnight hours.

“We’re over at the command post at 5:30 at night and then usually get here about 8:30 in the morning, or 9:30 is when we’re done,” said Vance.

Jeff Scott rounds out the Gering trio in Colorado; helping to build what’s becoming a department legacy.

“It’s just kind of the tradition we started,” said Nathan Flowers, Chief of the Gering Fire Department. “Guys see that and want to participate in that and learn and gain experience so they can come back to our department and make our state and our district better.”

In Colorado they’re working alongside several other fire departments.

“We'‘ve been working with engines from Seward, Nebraska, Montrose, Colorado, Colorado Springs, and the Denver Fire Department,” said Vance, noting it’s a joint effort under some tough conditions, but they’re taking it one battle at time. they take it one battle at a time . . .

“Hot, dry, and it’s not very easy,” said Vance. You take it easy and nice and slow.”

“The Gering firefighters are expected to back in Nebraska by the end of the week. The Grizzly Creek fire they’ve been battling is now more than 60 percent contained.

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