Westport fire chief returns from battling Montana wildfires
The Westport fire chief is back in Connecticut following a federal assignment battling wildfires in Montana.
Chief Robert Yost spent two weeks helping crews battle the wildfires, and he told News 12 that he feels it’s his calling.
It's part of a federal effort to help other firefighters keep large forest fires under control. It's called the Connecticut Interstate Fire Crew, and it requires certified members to work 16 hours a day, sometimes hiking to locations with 40 pounds of equipment strapped to their backs.
Yost worked with a team of 20 people. He says the assignment gave him an opportunity to serve his country.
"It's like a reciprocal agreement where we provide crews to go federally, and for when the need arrives in this state," Yost says. "So if Connecticut was to have a large wildfire, then the federal government would reciprocate and send the crews here, and it does happen from time to time."
Chief Yost says he knows the experience will come in handy the next time Westport faces a disaster.
The state keeps a list of Connecticut residents who are certified in wildfire firefighting.