Eagle and Gypsum firefighters deployed
Ryan Summerlin August 21, 2014
Members of the Greater Eagle Fire Protection District and the Gypsum Fire Protection District are currently among the crews fighting a wildland fire in California’s Klamath National Forest.
The crew left the valley on Aug. 1, driving Eagle’s Engine 9-3 to California to battle the Logs Fire which is a part of the July Complex Fire in Klamath. The Logs Fire is split between federal and state lands, along with some private properties.
Crew members on the engine from Eagle are Brian Garvin, engine boss; Mike Canada, engine operator; and Rob Akin, squad boss /faller, Gypsum firefighter Patrick McGann is also with the team.
For the past few weeks, the crew has endured high temperatures, thick smoke and poor visibility while protecting structures and controlling fire spread in the field. They have observed fire behavior such as active tree torching and tree crown runs, and have worked diligently to lay hose lines and cut trees in order to protect threatened areas.
“Residents have shown much appreciation and gratitude to the firefighters for protecting their lives and property,” said Garvin. “We are happy to be out here helping citizens and fellow firefighters, but sure miss our wives, girlfriends and kids back in Eagle.”
Since the fires in California are on going and vast, Engine 9-3 will remain in California and the crew will be replaced by a new crew from Eagle. The new crew left Aug. 15, and will continue firefighting efforts on the July Complex Fire. The new team consists of Shaun Moore, engine boss; Eric Hill, engine operator; and Ryan Gregor, firefighter. Akin will remain in California to continue working the fire.
Another firefighter from the Greater Eagle Protection District has been deployed to the South Cle Elum Ridge Fire in Washington State. Bill Johnson is a volunteer firefighter who specializes in wildland firefighting. He is overseeing the fire as a Type II Safety Officer on the command staff. Bill’s experience with the U.S. Forest Service in specialized positions is much desired by the Type II team.