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Lane County teams sent to California to assist with wildfires have returned home

in Local Roundup

The Lane County strike teams that were assisting with the California wildfires have returned home.

The 40 local firefighters were staged to protect structures if the fires continue to spread. The teams were sent to California in late October and the last crew returned Friday to Lane County.

The Lane County teams included members from McKenzie, Dexter, Mohawk and Eugene Springfield fire departments, and were among 15 teams from Oregon sent to assist California at the governor’s request.

Continue Reading on Register Guard

Firefighters from across the United States came to help during Kincade fire

in Local Roundup

While Sonoma County and local Cal Fire fire agencies were first to the Kincade fire when it erupted two weeks ago in remote, rugged land atop the Mayacamas Mountains, nearly 500 more agencies headed this way to help.

The vast majority of the 506 agencies came from around California but 159 came from outside the state, including 11 from Montana, 16 from Colorado, three from South Dakota and two from Nebraska, according to a Cal Fire list.

At its peak, 5,245 firefighters were battling the blaze, which has burned almost 78,000 acres since it started on Oct. 23. As of Wednesday, it is 88 percent contained. Full containment is expected on Thursday.

The most out-of-state aid came from Oregon, where firefighters from 54 agencies headed south to help in Sonoma County.

Continue Reading on Press Democrat

Turlock Fire Department service still suffering from budget cuts, staffing shortage

in Local Roundup

TURLOCK, Calif — It has been four months since the Turlock Fire Department took a $1.1 million budget cut. Since then, they have faced a major staffing shortage and they've had to take one of their four fire engines out of service more than 60% of the time.

"I live in close proximity to a fire department... and know that [sometimes] I don't have that protection, nor do any of my neighbors. It's not comforting," Amy Boylan-Mendes, a neighbor said.

Boylan-Mendes said she has lived next to the fire station for more than 25 years. She said when she wales up every morning, she checks to see if a white SUV is parked outside of that fire station. If it's there, that means the closest fire engine to her house has been taken out of service for the day.

Continue Reading on ABC 10

Nearly 300 California fire departments are battling the Kincade Fire

in Local Roundup

CALIFORNIA, USA — In an instant, hordes of firefighters traveled hundreds of miles from their homes to the Kincade Fire in Sonoma County to help Californians in need.

Nearly 300 fire departments, operational areas, and protection districts charged toward fire line of the raging Kincade Fire, a fire that has forced nearly 200,000 people to leave their homes.

According to Cal Fire, roughly 5,000 fire personnel are involved in the fire fight in Sonoma County. Those firefighters are comprised of crews as near as Bodgea Bay and Santa Rosa and as far as Sacramento, Fresno, Los Angeles, and San Diego. That response is due to the state's fire and rescue mutual aid system, once touted by State Fire and Rescue Chief Kim Zagaris as "the best in the world."

Continue Reading on ABC 10

Full church honors Merced County fire captain who died in line of duty

in Local Roundup

A decorated Merced County Cal Fire captain was laid to rest Thursday after a traditional processional through the city of Merced and services at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church.

Capt. Paul Rotondaro died in a traffic crash on Highway 140 near the Gustine airport, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Rotondaro had left the Gustine Cal Fire Station 74 and was heading to another station when the head-on collision occurred, Merced County Cal Fire spokesperson Scott McLean said.

Rotondaro started his Merced County firefighting career in 2006. He was selected as the 2018 Merced County Firefighter of the Year, according to the Merced County Office of Emergency Services.

Continue Reading on Merced Sun Star

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