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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Virginia’s firefighters mourn

All of Virginia’s firefighters mourn the loss of the two C-130 crew members and our hearts go out to their family, friends and co-workers.

Colorado Springs, Colorado (CNN) -- Two crew members on a U.S. Air Force plane died in a weekend crash while trying to battle one of the Western wildfires that have burned hundreds of thousands of acres, family members said.
The C-130 aircraft crashed Sunday night while fighting the White Draw Fire near Edgemont, South Dakota, the U.S. Northern Command said.
Military officials said there were casualties in the crash but gave no other information Monday. But family members told CNN affiliate WBTV that two members of the crew died in the crash and identified them as Lt. Col. Paul Mikeal and Master Sergeant Robert Cannon.

The crash forced officials to ground the entire fleet of eight firefighting C-130 planes as Western states grapple with one of the busiest and most destructive wildfire seasons ever. It wasn't immediately clear what impact their absence would have on firefighting across the region.

There are many video cliops of these C-130's in action and the two video links below are  two very good ones giving you an inside look at these amazing pieces of equipment and their crews.

Among the fires elsewhere:

— Utah: Hundreds of firefighters were trying to hold the Clay Springs fire from advancing on the ranching towns of Scipio and Mills. The fire had destroyed one summer home and threatened 75 others. The fire was 48 percent contained on Sunday.

— Montana: More evacuation notices were issued in the southeastern part of the state after a wildfire jumped a highway overnight and was spreading Monday. The state had 10 large wildfires, more than any other state.

— Wyoming: Late Sunday night, authorities called for evacuations in an area of southern Albany County where a fast-growing wildfire was burning. It wasn't immediately clear how many residences were affected.

— Idaho: Firefighters in eastern Idaho had a wildfire 80 percent contained Sunday but remained cautious with a forecast of high winds and hot temperatures that could put hundreds of homes at risk.

— Nevada: More than 300 firefighters were battling a wildfire in a remote area in the east.

— New Mexico: A wildfire burning on the western border of Carlsbad Caverns National Park had grown to 5,000 acres

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