Thanks To Those Who Keep Us Safe

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Hundreds of firefighters from around the southwest have come to Payson to battle the Willow Fire.

These men and women will work in blazing temperatures and rugged terrain to keep danger at bay.

According to local heart and lung specialist, Dr. Simran Galhotra, firefighters often suffer permanent damage from continual exposure to smoke and ash. We complain about the smoke we breathe amidst the fire, but imagine what it's like at the fire line.

Just like any public safety profession, firefighters risk their lives on a daily basis while we wait and watch from the comfort of our air conditioned homes.

Living in Rim country in the ninth year of an extended drought, we are at high risk of losing everything we own to a wildfire. We are at the mercy of teams from all over to spare us from its ravages.

Besides the courage and sacrifice it takes to fight wildfires, it's extraordinary teamwork that makes the effort effective and successful.

During last night's briefing, the supervisor of the Tonto National Forest, Karl Siderits, said it is the partnerships between agencies that makes the whole operation work.

From Hot Shot crews to local police volunteers, it takes a coordinated effort to keep our communities safe from the devastation of a wildfire.

We thank all the people who have left their homes and families to come and help us in this time of need. We are truly grateful to everyone who is assisting in the cooperative effort to keep us out of harm's way.

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