Colorado crews heading to California to help fight wildfires

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PARKER, Colo. -- Deadly wildfires continue to rip through Northern California.

As the death toll continues to rise and thousands of structures are destroyed, Colorado firefighters are being called on to assist.

Crews with South Metro Fire Rescue were on standby over the weekend, and on Monday, they deployed to California and immediately will spring into action when they arrive.

Four firefighters from the South Metro Fire wildland team will drive an engine to Northern California. The strike team leader from Lake Dillon Fire will travel with the South Metro crew.

The team doesn't know the exact location they are going but will be assigned later Monday.

The team will be joined with at least 90 other firefighters from Colorado. The deployment will last 14 to 21 days, not including the two to three days to travel to and from California.

Once they arrive, they will be sleeping in tents alongside other first responders and will help assist where they're needed.

The Colorado Office of Emergency Management is sending 22 trucks and 85 firefighters after receiving a request Sunday morning.

"We really could be doing anything, anything from protecting homes to fighting the fire," said Thomas Rogers, an engine boss trainee and part of the wildland team.

"It's something we're always concerned about. We've definitely been trained for it. ... Get out of harms way to a safe zone so we can keep our guys safe."