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Colorado wildfire team heads to Alaska

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Posted at 8:44 AM, Jan 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-17 10:58:26-05

A team of wildland firefighters is headed to the rugged terrain of Alaska this year because of their reputation as some of the best in the West.

A Bureau of Land Management official says the annual trip to Alaska began a decade ago after word spread about the ability of the Colorado firefighters to cut firebreaks, deal with wild animals and cope with rapidly changing conditions.

The Durango Herald reports firefighters being sent to Alaska have to prove they can carry 90 pounds of gear up a mountain and run 10 miles before they can be recommended by their supervisors to join the Alaska Fire Service smokejumper and hot-shot crews.