A Guide to Firefighters: Locals and Those From Far Away (Can You Believe We Have a Crew From Puerto Rico Here?)

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A crew from Miranda stops to contemplate the fires near Alderpoint. [Photo courtesy of the Miranda VFD]

Firefighters—-they save our homes and sometimes our lives. Right now they are battling heat and smoke to save homes across the Emerald counties. Let’s just take a moment to identify a few of the fire folks we have working on the Lightning Fires in our corner of California. The crews come from a surprising variety of local folk and government agencies.

First, (and our personal favorite,) the homegrown crews who work for free with our Volunteer Departments. However, they get paid while they work with Cal Fire on these big incidents…

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Aurora Studebaker and Chris McCoy of the Briceland VFD smile through the smoke, heat and dust while wearing heavy gear and carry the tools of their trade. [Photo by Shawn Studebaker.]

There are also salaried firefighters from departments around the state and beyond….


Vehicles from San Franciso and Rio Dell fire crews are on the Southern Humboldt Complex. [Photo by Kelly Patton]

Of course, there are the Cal Fire folks…

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Morning briefing for Cal Fire as they prepare to get out to the frontlines of our fires. [Photo provided by Cal Fire]

…sometimes the inmate hand crews work closely with them.


The inmate crews deserve respect for their hard work. [Photo from here]

There’s the California Conservation Crews:


Members of the California Conservation Crew pose before working on the Route Complex. [Photo from InciWeb]

Then there’s the National Guard….


Local folks were grateful to see the National Guard rolling into Alderpoint today. [Photo by LaDonna Auxier.]

And, finally, there’s the US Forest Service (USFS). We have crews here from across the United States. Below are few handsome folks from Florida but there are members of the USFS here from as far away as Puerto Rico.


USFS crew from Florida on plane bound for California. They have been on fires in the Shasta–Trinity National Forest since Tuesday.

Chelsea Ealum, a Communications and public relations coordinator, for this crew told us, “In years past when Florida was been experiencing uncontrolled forest fires, California crews came here. We’re happy to be able to return the favor.”

And we’re really happy all these folks are here to help!  Thanks to them and to all the fighters of hot flames and thick smoke.





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