Colorado firefighters just back from California reflect on deadly wildfire

DENVER -- The images out of California are horrific to watch.

At least 15 are dead and many more missing in deadly wildfires sweeping through the area in and around the Napa Valley.

"My heart goes out to everyone out there, homeowners, firefighters -- I've been shoulder-to-shoulder with them," said Craig Spader, a firefighter with South Metro Fire Rescue who is just back from California.

Spader said the winds along with a growing home building population in the region made this inevitable.

"I'm getting to the point where I am not even shocked by it any more by the crowding," Spader said.

"We are kidding ourselves if we think we can go in and build a multimillion-dollar home and make it fireproof."

Spader said while California mountains are more populated with homes than Colorado, it should still be a wake-up call.

"Have a plan, plan an escape, put together what we call a go box," Spader said.

While no Colorado crews are currently in California battling the blazes, that could change. South Metro Fire said it has put a crew on standby just in case.

"The crew of firefighters know they need to put their lives on hold for up to 18 days," South Metro spokesman Eric Hurst said.

As for Coloradans visiting the Napa Valley, they say the images are tough to see in person.

"The pictures don't  do it justice," Nick Alverez said.