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Mar 31, 2010 10:04 PM by Andy Koen

Fighting grass fires a group effort

In a grass fire, every second counts. Firefighters say their ability to work together efficiently is critical to success.

Lt. J.J. Halsey of the Colorado Springs Fire Department says as many as 16 different companies from 8 different agencies supplied assistance to fight the grass fire near Falcon Wednesday afternoon.

The first engines arrived within four minutes of being called. Halsey says the teams set setting clear priorities from the start.

"Our priority was structure protection and that's what they went into and we saved a lot of buildings today," Halsey said.

Local fire departments have long maintained mutual aid and cooperative agreements.  The rural departments regularly work together on fires.

Harley said those agreements and that previous experience helped.

"(It)was essential to a really good, quick knock down and kept this fire from being a lot bigger than it was and doing a lot more damage," Halsey said.

Crews from Colorado Springs, Falcon, Peyton, Cimarron Hills, Ellicott, Black Forrest and Peterson Air Force Base Fire Departments and Colorado Springs Utilities all responded.

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