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Pocono Man Helped Battle Colorado Wildfires

TANNERSVILLE — One man in the Poconos just returned home after helping fight a massive wildfire in Colorado for two weeks.

Eric Kuntz was one of only 20 firefighters selected to be part of the Pennsylvania Wildfire Crew to help assist thousands of firefighters across the country who battled the Waldo Canyon wildfire in Colorado Springs.

The blaze destroyed more than 18,000 acres over the course of two and a half weeks.

Officials say it’s the most destructive wildfire in all of Colorado history.

“I’m feeling pretty proud and I know my training here in Pennsylvania has prepared me well for going out on an assignment,” said Kuntz a forester with DCNR.

Kuntz works at the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources in the Tannersville bureau.

He helps manage the 85,000 acres of the Delaware State Forest in Monroe and Pike Counties.

But on June 24, he flew to Colorado to help battle the raging wildfires.

“We were assigned as an initial attack crew, which basically meant staging for any fires that may occur because they were experiencing a lot of high fire danger in that region,” said Kuntz.

For nearly a week, Kuntz fought the enormous blaze in Colorado Springs.

He took these pictures, showing the crews building fire lines, which help prevent the wildfire from spreading.

“I don’t think people in the east realize a wildfire can race through areas of forest and terrain at unbelievable speeds. Some fires can burn, 5, 10, 15,000 acres in a day,” said Kuntz.

Kuntz came home on Monday after two weeks helping to battle the wildfires.

The fire in Colorado Springs is nearly contained.


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