Oak Creek trucks, crew assist with massive Caldor Fire in California
Oak Creek Fire Protection District trucks and crews have joined thousands of firefighters who have rushed to the area south of Lake Tahoe to fight the Caldor Fire.
Oak Creek’s Brush Truck 861 and its three-person crew were assigned to the Northern California wildfire since last week. On Wednesday, Oak Creek sent a Type 3 truck, Engine 831, and three more crew members to the destructive blaze, which is now over 200,000 acres.
The brush truck assisted in saving homes as the fire drew closer to South Lake Tahoe, which is where Oak Creek’s second engine was deployed to join the fight.
This is the first year Oak Creek has hired a seasonal wildland fire crew, according to Oak Creek Fire Chief Brady Glauthier, who took helm of the department this week following the retirement of Chief Chuck Wisecup.
“The big thing is that we’re able to do this,” Glauthier said. “We’ve taken steps to add these seasonal wildland firefighters, to help reduce fuels and lend a hand when it’s needed.”
Four of the wildland crew were dispatched to California, with the addition of two of the department’s veteran firefighters.
“Firefighters are a special breed,” Glauthier said. “It’s a passion to go out and fight fire. If they’re not needed here at home, we let those guys go out and help like with this fire.”
Oak Creek’s fire team has already seen a busy year with the ignition of the Muddy Slide Fire, which started June 20. Utilizing its newly hired crew, the department also helped with suppression on various other fires around Routt County.
Even with some of the crew heading out to the West Coast, Oak Creek still retains enough resources — specifically three engines — to fight any blazes that pop up back home.
“We never reduce our ability to fight fire within our own district,” Glauthier said.
To reach Bryce Martin, call 970-871-4206 or email bmartin@SteamboatPilot.com.
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