AUBURN, Wash. – Fire crews from multiple local departments have been deployed to fight wildfires in Eastern Washington, Oregon and California.
With 300,000 acres consumed and 100 structures burned, Michael Morgan is relieved to find out his camper was spared as the Mendocino Complex Fire in Northern California rages on.
“It was loud, it was roaring and you could hear trees explode. Pow! Pow! Pow!” said Morgan.
Fighting the fire are crews from Washington state, including three men from Valley Regional Fire Authority.
“They’re on the fire line for 12 hours and then they get a six-hour break and then they’re back to it. They are sleeping on the ground next to the fire at night,” said Valley Regional Fire Authority Public Information Officer Kimberly Terhune.
Our local crew is part of a structural team helping to keep homes and businesses out of the fire’s reach.
“They’ll go to where the homes are and they’ll clear out brush, they’ll make fire breaks around the home, they’ll make the homes less susceptible for catching on fire,” said Terhune.
After two long weeks, our crews will return home only to find dry, warm conditions ready to spark a fire in their own backyard.
“Those conditions will continue into the fall even if we get a little bit of rain, we’re still going to have that risk,” said Terhune.
It’s a risk that a similar scene could happen right here in Western Washington. Because we readily send our crews to the front line in other regions, that sense of duty or simply good karma could come back around to help us.
“We know it’s just a matter of time. It could happen to us as well. We could have a very large fire and have to call out for resources as well,” said Terhune.
A fraternity of firefighters that send crews near and far to help save lives and homes.
Valley Regional Fire Authority has had a total of seven deployments since June, including the team of three in California and another firefighter in Lincoln County, Washington right now.
Terhune says the best way to help is to limit the fire risk around your home and to report any smoke or flames.