PRESS RELEASE – November 3, 2019 Bay Area Firefighters are a long way from home - From the Fire Lines in Southern California - At the Maria Fire - Ventura County
Bay Area Firefighters are a long way from home!
From the Fire Lines in Southern California
Menlo Park Fire Protection District
Once the Kincade Fire reached 30% containment, last Wednesday, and favorable weather conditions were forecast, Bay Area Fire Strike Team 2278TF (TF -Task Force) was immediately released from their Napa pre-positioned location and re-deployed to the “Easy Fire” in Simi Valley, located in Ventura County. Driving 400 miles overnight into early Thursday morning, they were immediately placed on the fire line near the Ronald Reagan Library, working late into Thursday night and then re-deployed again, to the nearby “Maria Fire” near Santa Paula, on Friday morning, until finally getting a break, Saturday morning.
Firefighters with Strike Team 2278TF extinguish deep seated hot spots at the Maria Fire – Credit Menlo Fire
The of 22 fire personnel from Gilroy, Woodside, Menlo Park, Santa Clara and Palo Alto have been doing the often less glorified jobs that firefighters can be assigned to, from being pre-positioned in Napa, to driving hundreds of miles in often uncomfortable fire engines designed for short trips, to being assigned to mopping up the fire lines behind the head of the fire front, where they were joined by other Firefighters from Montana and New Mexico.
Firefighters with Strike Team 2278TF find fire in downed trees and vegetation at the Maria Fire – Credit Menlo Fire
Fire Chief Schapelhouman said “Every firefighter wants to actually get to fight the fire directly, they all live for that opportunity. The not so glamorous, yet equally important, part of this job is mopping up every single ember, or hot spot, that could restart and spread the fire, especially if the wind comes back up. That’s the thankless, back breaking, time consuming and dirtiest part of our work and what absolutely needs to happen to insure the line is “cold and will hold. That said, they’re firefighters, they like to work and get their hands dirty, especially if that’s what it takes to get the job done.”
Firefighters with Strike Team 2278TF representing Gilroy, Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Santa Clara and Woodside Fire Agencies at the Maria Fire base camp Saturday morning – Credit Menlo Fire
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