From Lincoln City Fire Captain Jim Kusz
It’s been one week since crews from Oregon headed south to Paradise, California, north of Sacramento, and east of Chico.
“Our people are doing okay!” That was what Strike Team 11 Leader, Andy Parker told Newport Chief Rob Murphy this morning. Sitting with Chief Murphy this morning awaiting to listen in on Oregon conference call from scene, it is hard to image the scale of damage and destruction done by this fire.
The “Camp Fire” has consumed 142,000 acres and is now 45% contained. Approximately 9700 homes, 144 multi-residential structures, and 336 businesses have been destroyed by the blaze. The death toll has risen to 63, with 631 civilians are missing.
Our crews are currently working a 24 hour shift, prepping structures near Oroville, California as the Camp Fire burns south of Paradise, California that was completely devastated. The task now is to prepare structures that may be threaten tomorrow where the fire is expected to push through. The teams are cutting low limbs from trees, and clearing areas of brush, as bulldozers cut fire lines.
The 26 member Strike Team 11 made up of personnel and equipment from Yachats RFPD, Central OR Coast Fire Rescue District, Newport FD, Depoe Bay Fire Dist., North Lincoln Fire and Rescue, Toledo Fire Dept., Polk County Fire District, and Dallas/SW Polk Fire. Jointing 16 sixteen teams, 290 Oregon firefighters, and nearly 50 engines and support vehicles to work the worse fire in California’s history.
“CAL FIRE really appreciates our being here.” Oregon State Fire Marshal’s, Claire McGrew reported this morning during the state-wide conference call from the scene. McGrew and Deputy Chief Scott Magers of the Hillsboro Fire Department shared information this morning about the conditions and our crews. Both are down with our Oregon crews as part of the effort coordinating the teams that are a part of 5,596 firefighters from several states currently battling the fires in Butte County. McGrew also stated; that they be most likely working in Butte County for another week through Thanksgivings and could be returning next Friday. “It maybe sooner” McGrew said; “but CAL FIRE requested us for that long”.
“Please keep our crews, and the folks of Butte County in your thoughts and prayers.” Fire Chief Murphy.
Jim Kusz / District Captain