Local fire experts helping at Ariz. fire

Posted at: 07/02/2013 5:22 PM
By: Gadi Schwartz, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Karen Takai

Karen Takai, an information specialist from New Mexico, is now leading briefings being broadcast all over the world about what is happening at the deadly Yarnell Hill fire.

“We start the mornings just recognizing the fact that it's an incredible tragedy has happened out here, and yet we need to get focused back on the task at hand, and that's to make sure in honor of these firefighters that we attack this fire safely and with swiftness,” Takai said.

Takai isn't the only New Mexican in Arizona. KOB Eyewitness News 4 was told another fire expert is headed out to assist in the investigation of how 19 firefighters died.

“We know there was a weather change. We know there was a drastic change. We know there were crews on the ground,” Takai said. “Was there questions not asked correctly? Was the timing wrong? We won't know all these things until we get the investigators on it. We can't answer to that. It's all rumor, conjecture, hypothetical, and we can't go there."

With New Mexico facing the same dry conditions and heat that Arizona is facing, New Mexico hotshots for the most part are staying close to the fires at home.

Meanwhile, Takai will likely continue to head up the briefings until her team gets the Yarnell Hill fire under control.


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