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PA fire crews return from fighting Idaho wildfires

Updated: Friday, August 23 2013, 07:27 AM CDT
Reported by: Kyle Rogers

MIDDLETOWN -- As massive wildfires continue to burn more than 100,000 acres near Beaver Creek, Idaho, firefighters from Central Pennsylvania returned Thursday night after helping to battle the blaze.

They spent 14 hours a day on the front lines for two weeks.

"Once we got on the line, it was a lot of hard work," said Su Ann Shupp from Camp Hill. It was her first deployment and she's looking forward to going back again to help make a difference.

Organized by the Bureau of Forestry, the deployment consisted of crews from Pennsylvania, Maryland and New England.

"(The wildfires consist of) almost half as much as our entire state forest system," said Ellen Ferratti, the acting secretary for DCNR.

Calling the firefighters heroes, she said the mutual aid from Pennsylvania is key if the state would need similar help in the future.

Recalling her accounts with locals from Idaho, Shupp said, "You're lucky when you get to go out of the town. When you do, they say 'thank you' and how the military does their job, police do theirs, but you firefighters save our homes."

The firefighters spent the night with a pizza dinner and will spend the night at the Lower Swatara Fire Department. They'll return home to the families Friday morning.PA fire crews return from fighting Idaho wildfires

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