A long-time firefighter originally from Casco is assisting crews battling the wildfires in the western United States that are impacting the air quality in Northeastern Wisconsin. Mark Thiry was commander at Ashwaubenon Public Safety before moving out west to become fire chief at Bigfork Fire Department in Montana five years ago. Recently called up as a logistics section officer for the Department of Natural Resources, Thiry works with the Northern Rockies Incident Management Team fighting wildfires throughout the west, where conditions remain dry and hazardous.
Thiry just returned from work in Idaho, where wildfires consumed over 7,000 acres of land. He says the clouds of smoke traveling thousands of miles east are hard to believe.
Air quality could be unhealthy for children, older adults, and those suffering from respiratory conditions. The National Interagency Fire Center reported last week that as many as 90 wildfires are burning across 12 states, with 1.8 million acres having been burned since the fires started.