Arizona Sends Help To Battle California Wildfires

By Nakiesha Johnson
Published: Tuesday, October 29, 2019 - 8:24am
Updated: Tuesday, October 29, 2019 - 8:38am

Firefighters battling Carr Fire last year in California
Tiffany Davila/Department of Forestry and Fire Management
Firefighters cut down the remains of a tree left over from Carr Fire in California in 2018.

About 120 Arizona firefighters and 34 engines were deployed to California over the weekend to assist in battling multiple wildfires burning in that state. Crew members have been assigned to various jobs.

Tiffany Davila, who is with the Department of Forestry and Fire Management, explained how they will backfill.

“They’re also acting as backfill for local fire departments. Some of those local fire departments may be working the actual wildfires. Our engine crews will come in and act as backfill and run those day-to-day 911 calls.”

Davila said sending firefighters to assist with wildfires in other states is common and crews in the Northwest and West have helped Arizona during its wildfire season.

The smoke from Carr Fire fills the air of California
Tiffany Davila/Department of Forestry and Fire Management
The 2018 Carr Fire in California.

Mike Erfert, who is with the Yuma Fire Department, said the department's ability to send crews to California depends on local demands for service.

“We have to evaluate what our current status is," Erfert said. "They (crew members) would not be deployed if it was going to be reducing or in some way endangering our ability to respond to our local community.”

Arizona firefighters are expected to be in California for two weeks. Davila says they expect more orders from California due to the high winds forecast this week.

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