As fires continue to burn out of control across the nation, firefighters are facing the task of keeping the fires contained, while keeping citizens safe.
The Washington Post reports on how firefighters managed to keep a fire from burning out of Washington, a place where the nation’s capital has historically had high fire activity.
The Post reports: Firefighters were trapped in an apartment complex in downtown Washington, where there were three fires burning simultaneously on Sunday morning.
By 6:15 a.m., two of the three fires had burned out, but the third was still burning.
As the smoke cleared, firefighters managed a perimeter of about 300 feet by 50 feet, and by 9:15 they were on the scene of another fire.
The three fires are near the Washington Monument and Capitol Hill, and are being controlled by two different fire departments.
The firefighters had to contend with a massive blizzard conditions that prevented them from reaching the fire-prone area.
The fires were fueled by a combination of lightning, hot weather, and a heat wave, which created a blanket of smoke and carbon monoxide that forced firefighters to use heavy-duty equipment, such as fire trucks and helicopters, to fight the fires.
Firefighters, who were able to access the complex with little or no backup, battled to contain the flames while protecting residents in the surrounding area.
“We were fighting for our lives,” said Chief Mike McGovern, who has been the head of the Fire Department’s National Response Team for the past eight years.
“It was very, very hard to control the fires and protect the community.”
McGovern said that firefighters were able “to put down these fires and we could go to the other fire that was in a lot of danger.”
The firefighters, who have not been identified, were able not only to put out the fires, but to get people back to their homes safely.
“You don’t have the luxury of just having one fire and having it burn out,” he said.
“When you have multiple fires burning, you have to be able to contain those fires.
You have to have your crews in the area.”
Firefighters are working to contain fires at the Washington, DC, Capitol and the nation and the city of Washington.