Friday, 23 February 2024

Local firefighters head off to out-of-area firefighting duty

LAKE COUNTY – With wildland fires raging in parts of both Southern and Northern California, local firefighters are once again on the move.

An Office of Emergency Services engine housed at South Lake County Fire's Middletown station was sent to the Station Fire in Los Angeles on Monday, according to Northshore Fire Chief Jim Robbins.

Robbins received the call from the state OES for the engine at 1 a.m. Monday, and within a short time the engine and several firefighters were under way.

The Station Fire is located in Los Angeles County in the Angeles National Forest's jurisdiction. It began Aug. 26 and has so far burned more than 105,000 acres and was only 5 percent contained late Monday.

Over the weekend the fire claimed the life of two firefighters, according to the Governor's Office.

Over the weekend, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared states of emergency in Los Angeles, Monterey and Placer counties because of the wildfires burning in those areas.

Late Sunday night Robbins also was called on to assemble a five-engine strike team to send to the 49 fire, which has destroyed 60 structures and burned 340 acres at Highway 49 and Rock Creek near Auburn, according to Cal Fire.

Evacuations are in effect for several areas as a result of that fire, which was 70-percent contained late Monday, Cal Fire reported.

However, after Robbins got the strike team – 15 firefighters and a battalion chief – ready to get on the road, the state called to cancel.

About a week ago a strike team of local firefighters – both paid and volunteer, from the county's several fire districts – and engines returned from a 16-day deployment in Shasta County, according to Northshore Battalion Chief Pat Brown.

Locally, firefighters have continued working on some small summer fires, including an early morning grass fire that burned a fence behind Sentry Market in Nice on Friday and a Saturday afternoon fire that burned on acre on Collier and Hammond, Robbins said.

The fire at Collier and Hammond was sparked by a young man on a riding lawn mower, which hit a rock while mowing during the heat of the day, Robbins said.

Robbins said they were unable to find a cause for the fire behind Sentry Market.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow Lake County News on Twitter at .

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