The smoke and haze sitting over Arizona Tuesday, Sept. 8, is courtesy of the California wildfires that have burned a record, two million acres and counting.
To help our sister state, several Arizona hotshot teams are on the way to help battle the flames. One is from the Tucson area, one from Sedona and another from the Valley.
There are 25 separate fires burning across two million acres of California -- set off by extreme heat, dry conditions heavy winds and lots of lightning.
“We’re working a forest with a lot of timber, big trees that make the fire so big. It can be really dangerous," says Tait Mitton, engine boss with Arizona Fire & Medical Authority (AFMA).
Their mission is to save structures on the night shift. The most dangerous time to fight a fire.
“You have to pick and choose when you can aggressively go after the fire and when you need to back out and let mother nature do her thing," Mitton explained.
Nearly 100 years of experience is under the belt of all four members of his team combined, now on a two-week mission to save lives and property.
“Sometimes it gets a little scary and nerve-racking but with good training and proper knowledge knowing what we’re getting into, we try to keep ourselves safe as best we can," Mitton said.
There have been dozens of rescues and at least one fatality in the Creek Fire.