National First Responders Day on Oct. 28 recognizes the heroic men and women who make it their business to take immediate action when disaster strikes.
At Monday’s City Council meeting, councilor Steve Wright called it an appropriate time “to think of our police and fire, particularly our fire department and the horrific problems they’re having with the wind blowing like that and things going up almost immediately.”
Three of those firefighters are from Seaside Fire Department, Joey Daniels told City Council Monday night, Division Chief Chris Dugan, Jenson Segui and Max Savage.
Along with a department brush truck, the firefighters joined the Columbia County Strike Team No. 4 to fight the Kincade Fire, Chief Joey Daniels told the council.
As of Monday, according to Cal Fire, the fire covered almost 80,000 acres of vegetation and had been active for five days in Sonoma County. More than 180,000 residents have been evacuated from their homes.
According to the Office of the Oregon Fire Marshal, California made the request directly to the Oregon Office of Emergency Management through the emergency management assistance compact, a national state-to-state mutual aid system.
The mobilized strike teams, comprising nearly 300 personnel total, responded from counties throughout the state.
On Sunday the office of the Oregon state fire marshal said 271 firefighters had been deployed.
Nine strike teams, including the three Seaside firefighters, were dispatched to the Kincade Fire in Sonoma County.
Six strike teams received assignments to the 350-acre Burris Fire in Mendocino County, received assignments Monday. Five of the teams are working to secure lines and mop up the Burris Fire, and one team was assigned to respond to a new incident called the Twin Fire.
Deployment could last 16 days.
With widespread power outages and PG&E shutdowns, Seaside firefighters are living out of their truck, Daniels said.
“But they’re doing pretty well, they’re in pretty good spirits,” Daniels said.”They called and said they were just getting off the line, and then going back.”
Mayor Jay Barber, a former northern California resident, called Seaside’s representatives “great wildland firefighters. They’ll be a great asset to the fight.”
According to CalFire reports, favorable weather conditions early in the week will enhance firefighting efforts while narrow roads and steep terrain are still making access to the fire areas difficult.