NAU provides dorm rooms for Slide Fire crews - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

NAU provides dorm rooms for Slide Fire crews

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FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - The Slide Fire is still burning north of Sedona; that fire has scorched more than 20,000 acres in Oak Creek Canyon and is now 35 percent contained.

Many of the firefighters have spent a week now on the front lines of that fire and some of them are finally getting some decent rest thanks to Northern Arizona University.

We talk a lot about the tough job these firefighters have, hard manual labor in dirty and smoky conditions. What a lot of them really need is a good night's sleep, something they are now getting in the NAU dorms.
    
The accommodations aren't exactly plush with a couple of twin beds and a couple of desks. But to exhausted fire crews it can look like a five star hotel.
    
"The first night we stayed out just under the pine trees, and obviously it's hard to get rested up and get ready for a 16 hour shift when you've had a day like that," said Dylan Howard.
    
So night shift hot shot crews got a major upgrade from camping out courtesy of NAU. They are staying at the Mountain View dorm where they can use showers to clean up and black out curtains to sleep in.

"We are a member of the community, and our employees are members of the community, and so we were involved in keeping track of what was going on, and when we were contacted and asked we were happy to step forward and do this," said Cynthia Brown with NAU.
 
The hot shots sleep during the day and get ready to head out again in the afternoon they say they are used to tough working conditions and are very happy NAU is helping them out.
 
"Now we've spent two weeks sleeping outside every single day. We'll do the job either way, but it is a lot easier and people are more refreshed when we have something like these dorm rooms to sleep in," said Howard.
 
NAU has room for up to 2,000 firefighters in the dorms but right now only about 150 are staying there.
 
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