Westport chiefs: Fight wildfire with controlled fire

Posted: Updated:
WESTPORT -

To stop flames from ravaging woodlands and brush, sometimes you have to fight fire with fire, according to two leaders of the Westport Fire Department.

As wildfires ravage California's wine country, Chief Robert Yost and Assistant Chief Michael Kronik say they both have experience with such incidents. 

And they can spark here in Connecticut, too. A wildfire in Cornwall once engulfed 500 acres.

Part of their job in those situations is setting controlled burns and cutting down trees to prevent flames from spreading.

"We're basically trying to remove the fuel and the path, to deny the fire the opportunity to spread," Yost says.

And how they approach each fire has serious consequences.

"You're making decisions on whose homes are going to be saved and not saved," he says. "And that's a tough decision."

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