They call themselves the Connecticut Interstate Fire Crew, and these 60 men and women go where they're needed to fight wildfires across the United States.

This special battalion of Connecticut firefighters who make up the CIFC undergo an initial rigorous training regime, including classroom time, field exercises, and physical agility testing.  

In 2019 alone, wildfires burned over 4.6 million acres for $1.15 billion. From an article on, one of those CT firefighters, Rich Schenk, tells NBC Connecticut that he can't remember how many states he's traveled to fight wildfires.

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Forty-six thousand wildfires have decimated millions of acres across the country this year, and so far, the CIFC has been mobilized 58 times. Two of Connecticut's bravest explain to FOX61 what goes into fighting a wildfire.

Rich Scalora, who's been with the CIFC for over ten years, told FOX61 the unit spent weeks in Minnesota as part of the structure protection group, ensuring that the blazes don't threaten homes near the wildfire.

Scalora went on to say that the stress of being awake for 16 hours at a time while hiking up and down hills and valleys takes its toll physically and mentally. That's the reason why every year, these firefighters must pass an annual physical agility test and obtain other specialized wildfire and emergency response credentials.

CIFC firefighter Rich Schenk said, "There is something in your soul that wants to help people." Believe it or not, ten Connecticut firefighters are still in California attempting to keep the wildfires from this summer under control.

LOOK: The most expensive weather and climate disasters in recent decades

Stacker ranked the most expensive climate disasters by the billions since 1980 by the total cost of all damages, adjusted for inflation, based on 2021 data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The list starts with Hurricane Sally, which caused $7.3 billion in damages in 2020, and ends with a devastating 2005 hurricane that caused $170 billion in damage and killed at least 1,833 people. Keep reading to discover the 50 of the most expensive climate disasters in recent decades in the U.S.

READ ON: See the States Where People Live the Longest

Stacker used data from the 2020 County Health Rankings to rank every state's average life expectancy from lowest to highest. The 2020 County Health Rankings values were calculated using mortality counts from the 2016-2018 National Center for Health Statistics. The U.S. Census 2019 American Community Survey and America's Health Rankings Senior Report 2019 data were also used to provide demographics on the senior population of each state and the state's rank on senior health care, respectively.

Read on to learn the average life expectancy in each state.

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