A team of 20 Delaware firefighters are working to contain major forest fires in California.
A team of 20 firefighters under the direction of the Delaware Forest Service is working with more than 1,100 personnel battling the Fork Complex fire, a group of lightning-caused blazes near Hayfork, California that covers almost 12,000 acres but is only 7 percent contained. California officials declared a state of emergency late last week due to the widespread wildfires that have burned upward of 190,000 acres.
For the past two days, Delaware’s crew has been working on the Peak Fire, a 706-acre blaze burning on Plummer Peak, south of Hayfork. According to fire officials, the Delaware crew’s job is to establish indirect control lines and hold and patrol established lines, said Delaware Forest Service spokesman John Petersen.
Kyle Hoyd, the forest service’s assistant forestry administrator, reported “everyone is doing well” but the “fire is in steep terrain with multiple hazards.”
The crew’s hard work and effort has been paying off. According to the U.S. Forest Service, the Peak fire continued burning to the west, with crews staying in place to protect homes and outbuildings.
Crews might not get relief from the weather forecast, as warm and dry conditions will continue through the end of the week and as the smoke inversion begins to clear; this presents the possibility of more direct heat in and around the fire areas as well as more intense burning.
The Delaware Forest Service also dispatched James Dowd from Blackbird State Forest to work as an equipment manager on the Mad River Complex, along with Michael Nelson of Pennsylvania, who is assigned to the Reynolds Fire in Montana, Petersen said.