Sep 4, 2016 10:37 PM

NH firefighters return home from helping with wildfire out west

MANCHESTER - It's been a long two weeks for N.H. firefighters returning home from Idaho where they helped to battle a massive wildfire called the Pioneer fire.

"We average about 5 hours of sleep a night, we work about 14-hour days. It's probably the hardest, dustiest, dirtiest, smokiest job you'll ever do in your entire life," said Patrolman David Kullgren with the Division of Forest and Lands.

Pioneer began in mid-July and continues to burn about eight miles north of Idaho City. Twenty members from the New Hampshire Division Forest and Lands crew worked in Boise National Forest.

"We ended up doing suppression repair. So we were rehabbing, dozar line, hard-line, shipping brush. Cleaning up after the fire because they have big land-slides," said Jessica Allen with the Marlow Fire Department.

The fire grew so big, it threatened many people living in the area.

"You know, it's 180,000 acres so it's quite expansive - there were a lot of evacuations, road closures," said Douglas Miner, a forest ranger with Division Forest and Lands.

The fire is only 52 percent contained and crews could be battling it through mid-October.

"A day when the fire behavior extreme and they actually saw a lot of additional acres burned in just a matter of 24-hours," said Miner.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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