Firefighters from Yuma head to California to help with ‘Camp’ blaze
The City of Yuma Fire Department has sent a strike team to help battle the “Camp” fire, which has destroyed most of the northern California town of Paradise and killed at least five people.
Spokesman Mike Erfert said that YFD received a mutual aid request from Cal Fire on Friday morning, and that four predesignated firefighters certified for wildland firefighting and an engine truck left Yuma at about 4 p.m. to meet with other members of an Imperial Valley Task Force.
They are prepared to be deployed with the task force for up to two weeks, according to Erfert.
The “Camp” broke out at 6:29 a.m. in Butte County, California, and is reported to have burned 70,000 acres. The fire is currently only five percent contained and has destroyed an estimated 2,000 structures.
All of Paradise, a town of about 27,000 people, located 180 miles northeast of San Francisco, was ordered to evacuate, and an estimated 15,000 structures are being threatened throughout the area.
According to Cal Fire some 2, 303 firefighters are assigned to the “Camp” fire, as well as 303 fire engines, 11 water tenders, 18 helicopters, 59 hand crews and 24 bulldozers.
Cal Fire is also reporting that numerous firefighting air tankers from throughout the state are also flying fire suppression missions as conditions allow.
A task force usually consists of a group of firefighting apparatus and a team leader drawn from one of the various departments .
A team will normally stay together through their deployment, Erfert added that due to the equipment and training, YFD personnel are expected to be used for structure protection duties.
The cause of the “Camp” is still under investigation and Cal Fire doesn’t expect to have it contained until Nov. 30. Three firefighters have also been injured.
James Gilbert can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6854.
THIS IS THE FIRE CREW DEPLOYED by the Yuma Fire Department to help battle California fires.