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Seattle sends firefighters to California to help battle wildfire

SEATTLE – Two strike teams consisting of 39 firefighters from the greater King County region were deployed to southern California on Nov. 10 to assist with wildfire efforts. Weather conditions are reportedly creating very active fire conditions.

One of the strike teams is a wildland team, which includes a brush truck apparatus. This team is led by Seattle Fire Battalion Chief Erik Hotchkiss. The second strike team is a structural engine team led by Eastside Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief Dave McDaniels. All firefighters being deployed are “red card” certified, meaning they have been trained specifically in wildland firefighting.

“We are keeping California in our thoughts and are fortunate to have resources here in King County that we can send to help,” said Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins.

Seattle has sent four firefighters as part of this deployment. Other departments who sent members include Woodinville Fire and Rescue, Seattle Public Utilities Watershed Protection, Valley Regional Fire Authority, Eastside Fire and Rescue, East Jefferson Fire, Shoreline Fire, East Pierce Fire and Rescue, Snoqualmie Fire and Duval Fire.

Crews will likely work a 24-hour on, 24-hour off schedule, and start work on Monday, Nov. 12 once they arrive at the final location. Firefighter task assignments will vary, depending on the need. It’s possible crews may be assigned to backfill fire stations to respond to everyday emergencies, or they may be out in the field fighting the wildfire. Members could be deployed for up to two weeks.