North Texas firefighters describe conditions battling California wildfires
ByFunAsia 22 Nov 2020 10:52 AM 238

A North Texas firefighters’ group returned from their mission to help with the West Coast wildfires.

The Weatherford and Parker County firefighters returned and described the relentless flames, the ongoing battle, and how new fires were starting every day.

Michael Ellis, Parker County Fire Dept said, “It’s 24 on and 24 off. Its grueling work long days, long nights.”

The firefighters slept in small tents for 21 days. They were an active part of a Texas strike team of dozens doing the tedious, treacherous groundwork.

Ellis said, “Most of the firefighting is done by air but then we, the ground crews, we go in and we’re climbing straight up putting fire lines down, putting hoses all over, and trying to control the thing. The terrain is the big problem out there.”

Their last assignment with California’s largest wildfire -- the august complex fire, two hours north of San Francisco in Mendocino County.

As per their predictions, the fire will top one million acres by the end of the week. As of Monday afternoon, it had claimed one life and threatens 14,000 structures with zero-percent containment. 

Todd Helm, Weatherford FD said, “We went from one day it was 116 degrees, two days later on another fire we were in the lows of 45 degrees.”

The Texas firemen are experienced veterans and have worked wildfires before. They say the conditions present are a major challenge.

Helm said, “We had zero winds one day, 35 to 40 mph wind gusts the next day. So it was a very evolving situation. Pretty much from shift to shift we never knew what we were going to get into.”

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