Firefighters from around the U.S. travel to help in Calif. wildfires

Firefighters from 17 states are answering the call for help in wildfires that are consuming the state of California


CHICO, Calif. — Firefighters from all over the United States are traveling to help battle the deadly wildfires consuming the state of California.

Large crews from 17 states have answered the call to deploy to California to help battle both the Woolsey fire in the south, and the Camp fire in the north.

200 Texas firefighters

"When disaster strikes, it is imperative that the call for help is answered, and that is exactly what these men and women serving in fire departments across Texas are doing," Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said as he announced that around 200 firefighters and 55 fire trucks would be deployed to the Woolsey fire, according to ABC7.

The crews will stay in California for about two weeks, and many say they are eager to help.

“When that call came in, our guys were ready to go," New Waverly Fire Department District Chief Kevin Taylor said.

Porter Fire Department Chief Carter Johnson said the crews are hoping to give firefighters who have lost everything a change “to go home … to rebuild or see their family.”

 

300 Oregon firefighters

FOX12 reported that about 300 Oregon firefighters have been deployed to California, according to Oregon State Fire Fighters Council President Karl Koenig.

While the firefighters will be deployed over the Thanksgiving holiday, Salem Fire Department Captain Marshall Rash said “the real sad story” is the families who have lost everything in the fires.

“It’s a little bit of a sacrifice for us, but it’s definitely worth it because that’s what we do for each other as communities,” Rash’s wife Renee said.

20 Colo. firefighters and the world’s largest firefighting plane

So far, about 20 firefighters from Colorado have been sent with three engines to California, including crews from North Metro Fire Rescue District, the Deer Mountain Fire Protection, Timberline Fire Protection District and the Denver Fire Department, according to the Denver Post.

“This is an opportunity to get experience that there is no other way to get,” Timberline Chief Paul Ondr said. “You hope you never need (it).”

Colorado also sent the Global Super Tanker, also known as the world’s largest firefighting plane, from Colorado Springs to help battle the blazes.

 

73 Montana firefighters

Seventeen agencies consisting of 73 firefighters are helping fight the deadly fires as well, according to the Billings Gazette.

The crews brought 20 engines that will be divided into four task forces, according to Montana Department of Emergency Services Response and Recovery Branch Manager Jake Ganieany.

“We are happy to help other states in a time of need,” Ganieany said. “We just hope California can get as many resources as they can to fight these fires and keep people safe.”

144 Arizona firefighters

The Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management said 144 firefighters in 42 engines have been sent to provide both assistance and needed supplies, KGUN9 reported.

Officials said the firefighters will stay for a minimum of 14 days, with the majority of the crews heading to southern California.

"This is what we train for, work hard for, we’re just out here trying to help and make a positive influence," Scottsdale Fire Department firefighter Blake Miller said. "I mean, when we got here they were three to four days on the fire lines without sleep."

Miller said the firefighters are dealing with dangerous winds and are focusing on staying safe.

"Realizing none of our lives are worth this land, the land will come back. It’s just safety at all times," he said.

According to Cal Fire, other states sending help include Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Tennessee, Georgia, Missouri, South Dakota, Indiana and Alaska.

 

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