Aug 9, 2013 7:10 PM by Nathan O'Neal

Marana Hotshots pack it up for fire battles elsewhere

MARANA - Members of the Ironwood Hotshot Crew deployed Friday morning, possibly headed to help fight wildfires in the northwest part of the country.

While this is not the first deployment for the Northwest Fire Department's hotshot crew since the tragedy that occurred at the Yarnell Hill Fire earlier this summer, the emotions are still very raw which makes it especially difficult.

They will meet up with other crews from around the region where members of the Ironwood Hotshot crew will be given their orders. There are major fires in Idaho, Oregon and Washington they could be assigned to.

"As far as the danger aspect, safety is always on the forefront," said Brian Robinson, who has served on the crew for 13 years.

Safety is a primary concern heading into this mission, especially in the wake of an especially dangerous wildfire season. There have been more than 29 fatalities of firefighters working wildfires this season, including the 19 killed in the Yarnell Hill Fire.

"Yeah, it's been difficult," said Robinson before he and his crew left for the airport. "A lot of people knew those guys on a personal level and we just want to keep their thoughts with you -- it's a job. There's a mission to do and that's one of the things that we emphasize on our crew is to honor those guys by fighting fires safely."

As they knowingly put their lives on the line, they trust that safety protocol is a common concern for the entire crew.

"I just have a lot of faith in my crew and I can trust them," said Jesse Behunin, who is in his first year with the crew.


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