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Maryland firefighters battling Utah wildfire

Maryland firefighters battling Utah wildfire
Twenty Maryland firefighters are fighting a wildfire in Utah, their first assignment of the year as part of a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service. (Maryland Department of Natural Resources)

Twenty firefighters from Maryland are helping battle a wildfire that has spread over more than 50,000 acres in Utah.

The Maryland firefighters were sent to Utah Monday morning, said Gregg Bortz, a Department of Natural Resources spokesman. The Dollar Ridge Fire overtook 52,068 acres in Duchesne County, east of Provo, according to the National Wildfire Coordinating Group.

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Maryland has been sending firefighters west to help with wildfires since 1974 through an agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Bortz said.

This year’s crew is made up of eight firefighters from the Maryland Forest Service, six from the Maryland Park Service, two from the Wildlife and Heritage Service, three from local departments (which Bortz did not name) and one Department of Natural Resources human resources employee who is also a trained firefighter.

The crew gathered at the Madonna Ranger Station in Harford County Friday for a photo before heading west. They will stay about three weeks, Bortz said. They do not yet have a return date.

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