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NKF&R personnel help firefighting efforts in Eastern Washington

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue firefighters Alex Hickey and Rico LeMay are working with others from Bainbridge Island and Pierce County on a wildland initial attack team in Eastern Washington. This picture was taken just moments before dangerous thunderstorm activity in the area caused the crew to be pulled from working on mop-up after containing the 775-acre Bug Road fire near Tonasket. - North Kitsap Fire & Rescue
North Kitsap Fire & Rescue firefighters Alex Hickey and Rico LeMay are working with others from Bainbridge Island and Pierce County on a wildland initial attack team in Eastern Washington. This picture was taken just moments before dangerous thunderstorm activity in the area caused the crew to be pulled from working on mop-up after containing the 775-acre Bug Road fire near Tonasket.
— image credit: North Kitsap Fire & Rescue

KINGSTON — Personnel from North Kitsap Fire & Rescue are helping firefighting efforts in Eastern Washington.

NKF&R Fire Chief Dan Smith returned from the Carlton Complex incident command center on July 27.

Firefighters Alex Hickey and Rico Lemay, tasked with snuffing any new starts in the areas around Tonasket, return July 30 after a 14-day deployment.

Another three-person team from NKF&R — Lt. Michael Mock and firefighters Heath Clark and Dean Schuster — returned home late last week from the Carlton Complex fire.

NKF&R spokeswoman Michele Laboda said NKF&R firefighters are prepared to return.

"Weather conditions are worsening again, which bodes poorly for existing fires as well as for new starts,” Laboda reported. “Our personnel who are qualified to serve on wildland deployments remain prepared to be called up again at any time.” Conditions are deteriorating west of the mountains as well. A 3-acre fire was burning July 28 in Mason County.

“Fire danger is climbing here,” Laboda reported, reminding North Kitsap residents that a countywide burn ban is in effect. “[We] ask them to use care with all ignition sources — especially with hot temperatures and no rain in the forecast.”

Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste authorized the mobilization of state firefighting resources on July 28 at the request of Douglas County Fire District 5. A fire known as the Road C Fire was threatening the town of Mansfield and Level 3 evacuations were underway July 29, Batiste's office reported. The Fire Protection Bureau ordered five wildland task forces, two dozers, and two helicopters to supplement the resources fighting the fire.

Under the State Fire Services Resource Mobilization Plan, the Fire Protection Bureau coordinates the initial dispatch and continued administrative oversight of resources and personnel for the duration of the incident. The Mobilization Plan is implemented to provide a process to quickly notify, assemble and deploy fire service personnel, equipment and other resources from around the state when fires, disasters or other events exceed the capacity of local jurisdictions.

The Fire Protection Bureau ordered aircraft to support the firefighting efforts in progress on the High Drive Fire in Spokane County. On July 29, the fire was approximately 10 acres in a residential area. Approximately 20 residences were threatened by the fire, which is burning in terrain that is inaccessible to fire crews, Batiste’s office reported.

Gov. Inslee declared a state of emergency on July 15 in the 20 counties of Eastern Washington. President Obama on July 22 made an emergency declaration at Inslee’s request, making additional federal resources available to help.

 

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