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Local crews gear up to travel to deadly fire lines in Arizona

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Updated: 7/02/2013 6:25 pm
HOLLISTER, Fla. -- The tragic loss of 19 firefighters in Arizona hit close to home for Jason Foshee, a 12-year veteran with the Florida Forest Service.

Foshee, who is a former Marine, is one of four local rangers ready to put themselves in harms way to lend a helping hand out West.

Foshee says he knows first hand what the surviving firefighters in Arizona are going through.

[Slideshow: Deadly Arizona wildfires]

"Personally I knew one of the two rangers that died. Two years ago in Florida we went to fire school together. That hit home even closer," said Foshee, a senior forest ranger.

The Arizona firefighters are up against an all-out firestorm. For those who perished, not even a last-ditch effort to use their flame-resistant shelters could've saved their lives.

"That means it's your last resort. You can't do nothing else.  You've tried every way to get away from the fire and that's like your last little prayer" said Foshee.

As the fire gets more intense, crews from all over the country will be sent to help. Twenty rangers with the Florida Forest Service are on standby.

For Foshee, it's the least he can do for a group that's lost so much.

"At the end of the day, you know you did your job so it makes a difference," said Foshee.

According to Foshee, if he's called to help, once he arrives he'll be battling the blaze for 14 days.
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