Utah Firefighters Deploy To California To Help Battle Wildfires
Aug 21, 2020, 11:03 PM | Updated: Aug 22, 2020, 5:07 pm
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah – Thirty-five firefighters from eight Utah agencies were deployed to help battle wildfires in California, according to officials with the Utah Division of Emergency Management.
Mountain views across the Wasatch Front were blocked all weekend because of the smoke coming from those wildfires. Saturday morning, though, Utah sent help.
“They will deploy for about 16 days under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), a system of state-to-state mutual aid coordinated through state emergency management agencies,” officials said. “California has confirmed and accepted Utah’s EMAC offer.”
Utah firefighters are getting briefed this morning before heading out to help California fight some of the devastating…
“They’re just overwhelmed and so they’re asking for outside resources to come and help,” said Captain Daniel Cather with the Provo Fire Department.
For the next couple of weeks, Cather is part of a team of 35 Utah firefighters heading to California.
Crews from eight different Utah departments met at the Maverik Center in West Valley City to begin their trip. Those fire departments include West Valley City, Pleasant Grove, Lone Peak, Unified Fire Authority, Park City, Draper, Orem, and Provo.
The team will arrive in California on Sunday for their assignments.
“I think everyone that’s out here really likes to be able to help out and do their part,” said Battalion Chief Cody Jolley with the Draper Fire Department.
California certainly needs that help right now.
The second and third largest fires in state history are currently burning, along with more than 550 other fires across the state.
Close to a million acres have burned, which has forced more than 100,000 evacuations, and at least six people have been killed.
More than 12,000 firefighters are currently battling those fires.
It’s going to take hard work to get those fires contained, but working in those conditions will help us here in Utah when we have big fires.
“We do use this as an opportunity to train our individuals and bring that training back to Utah and to our local area,” said Lone Peak Fire Department Chief Reed Thompson. “We have had a lot of fires in Utah this year along the urban interface.”
It’s not just fires that crews have to be concerned about this year.