Treasure Valley firefighters help battle California wildfires

Posted at 10:45 PM, Dec 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-07 19:23:19-05

A group of local firefighters, and their equipment, are on their way to fight the massive wildfires in Southern California. 

Seventeen firefighters and five engines from across the Treasure Valley -- including Boise, Star, Meridian and Kuna -- will help try to contain several fires.

"Logistics is the big thing today," said Fire Captain Brian Ashton with the Boise Fire Department. "Getting everybody equipped, getting all of the gear, and making sure we have everything ready to go."

As destructive wildfires continue raging in Califiornia, firefighters from the Gem State are lending a hand. 

Before their departure Thursday, Dec. 7, the team held a briefing and stocked up on extra gear and equipment.

"We're traveling as a task force, which means we have a structural-type engine, and then some brush rigs that are four-wheel-drive-capable," Ashton said. 

The firefighters will be assigned to wherever they are most needed once they arrive at the staging area in Chico, California. 

"As far as terrain and things is considered, just different tactics, so figuring out how they operate and how we can best help them will be the plan," Ashton said.

Their two-week assignment could extend, if the wildfires continue to grow; but right now, the 17 volunteers say they're just ready to help.

"It feels good," said Captain T.J. Lawrence with the Kuna Fire Department. "It  feels like we're doing something good, representing Idaho, going down there and helping in California."

The Boise Fire Department says their assignment in California doesn't draw down resources locally. Their shifts are being covered, and the fire engines have back-ups here at home.