Fire­fight­ers from Yuma head to Cal­i­for­nia to help with ‘Camp’ blaze

Yuma Sun - - NEWS - BY JAMES GILBERT @YSJAMESGILBERT

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 jgilbert@yu­masun.com or 539-6854.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF TONY DEANDA JR.

THIS IS THE FIRE CREW DE­PLOYED by the Yuma Fire Depart­ment to help bat­tle Cal­i­for­nia fires.

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