Colorado firefighters say fighting California flames comes with unique challenges

DENVER - Colorado firefighters wrapped up their first 24-hour shift fighting the wildfire burning in Santa Rosa and said the flames in California come with different challenges.

Colorado sent two strike teams, consisting of eight trucks and 34 firefighters, to California to assist in battling the fires ravaging the state.

Dan Ross is in charge of one of the strike teams. He said the California firefight is challenging because of population density. Areas of wildland-urban interface -- where houses mingle with undeveloped wildland vegetation -- are more densely populated with homes and people than the same interface in Colorado.

"I think that’s why you see such large destruction on this fire," said Ross. "Just how populated this area is."

Another challenging is vegetation. Ross said the dry and dense brush in California burns more quickly than Colorado's timber.

"With that, fires just move a lot quicker, especially when they have wind on them," said Ross.

The strike teams will be in California for two to three weeks. Ross said the team is happy to help, especially knowing California firefighters will return the favor when Colorado has a big wildfire.

"We are happy to be out here and help this community so they are start their recovery process," said Ross.