Midpeninsula fire agencies have joined the effort to fight wildfires that have been scorching tens of thousands of acres across the state.
The Palo Alto Fire Department has sent engine crews to battle the Cranston Fire that began last Wednesday, July 25, and has scorched 13,139 acres in Riverside County, where they had spent the weekend. On Monday, they traveled up north alongside Santa Clara County Fire Department units to the Mendocino Complex Fire, which consists of the Ranch Fire and River Fire in Mendocino and Lake counties. Both fires started Friday and have cumulatively burned nearly 75,000 acres as of Tuesday, according to Cal Fire.
They will likely spend about the next two weeks assisting crews at the Mendocino Complex blaze, Fire Battalion Chief Ryan Stoddard said. Firefighters have been placed on 24-hour assignments, followed by a 24-hour rest period at base camp.
All city firefighters regularly train in wildland response, as the city has a "high nature presence," particularly with Station 8 in Foothills Park, Stoddard said. They also undergo F1 and F2 training on wildfire response as required by the state.
As of Friday, July 27, the Menlo Park Fire Protection District had three to four of its firefighters and one of its fire engines assigned to the Carr Fire in Redding, according to district fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman. The fire, which started on July 23, has burned 110,154 acres in Shasta and Trinity counties, according to Cal Fire.
The engine and its crew belong to a strike team assembled from firefighting agencies in the southern part of San Mateo County, the chief said in a press statement.
A strike team consists of five engines and their crews and one team leader. In all, there are three strike teams from the county now assigned to the Redding fire, Schapelhouman said.
The fire engines deployed are Type 1 "heavy" engines in that they have large capacity water pumps and can handle several hose lines at once, the chief said. Firefighting managers tend to call on strike teams when they need to protect structures, the chief said.
The Menlo Park district also has three firefighters working at wildfires around the state as fire-line paramedics, the chief said.
Woodside Fire Protection District has seven personnel assigned to the Redding fire: six firefighters and a battalion chief, traveling in one fire engine and a command vehicle, a district spokesperson told The Almanac.
The Mountain View Fire Department has a total of 13 firefighters assisting Cal Fire at regional fires throughout the state, sending eight people and two fire engines to the Cranston Fire on Thursday, July 26, according to the department's Facebook page. One of the department's EMT firefighters was also deployed to the Carr Fire. Department spokesman Robert Maitland declined to comment for the story or provide additional information.