PUBLISHED: | UPDATED: delaware_fire_fighters

From left, Spencer Valenti of Dover, Daryl Trotman of Milford, and Zachary Brown of Harbeson load their gear on the bus before departing on the crew’s trip to Denver to fight wildfires in the West.

A team of 20 wildland firefighters from Delaware arrived in Denver on Monday to help with fires in the Rocky Mountain region.

The Delaware Forest Service firefighters are scheduled for a two-week assignment to battle fires for the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), according to Delaware officials.

“Increased fire activity nationwide as well as hot and dry weather conditions across most of the West” contributed to the deployment of the firefighters, who departed Blackbird State Forest on Monday morning, according to a news release on news.delaware.gov.

The NIFC’s National Preparedness Level was increased Monday to a 3 on a 5-point scale.

26 large fires have burned more than 232,000 acres in 12 states, including Colorado, according to the release.

Twenty new fires have been reported in the Rocky Mountain area, including two new large incidents and five uncontained large fires, according to fire officials.

Active fires in Colorado include the Beaver Creek fire, which has burned 26,067 acres along the Colorado-Wyoming state line northwest of Cowdrey; and the Hayden Pass Fire, which has burned 16,520 acres in the Pike and San Isabel National Forests southeast of Salida.