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Utah firefighters called to battle fires in California

CALIFORNIA – Dozens of firefighters are called to battle at least two different fires in California.  This comes at the end of a very long fire season for some crews.

Currently, there are eight engines from Utah and one Type 2 Initial Attack Crew.  Those are the people who dig trenches in the mountains to keep fires from spreading.  Divisions of Forestry Spokesman Shayne Ward says, “They usually carry around chainsaws and they’ll clear out any vegetation ahead of the fire.”

That crew is on the south end of the LNU Fire complex, near Napa, which has burned over 170 structures.  Two state engines are working on the Medoncino Lake Complex.  Ward says, “That one is at 32 thousand acres, and, unfortunately, burned down 340 structures.”

The season was supposed to have been wrapping up for the Type Two Initial Attack Crew.  Ward says, “They’ve already worked several hundred hours of overtime. We’re talking about close to a thousand hours of overtime for some of these guys in six months.”  After this 14-day deployment, their seasonal work will be over.  However, Ward says there will still be plenty of other fire fighters ready to tackle another wildfire in Utah, if one happens.  “We still have a lot of full-time employees.  Don’t get me wrong, this is the bulk of our fire season but we will still have people year-round.  Not to mention all the locals, too.”

(Photo Credit: AP/Rich Pedroncelli)