Some firefighters from the Buckskin Fire Department north of Parker, AZ are involved in battling wildfires in Redding, CA and Paso Robles, CA this week.
Captain Mike Byrd, Firefighter Eric Foerstner and Firefighter Tyler Kowalski went out Monday on assignment for a fire in Redding, and by Thursday were en route to the ‘Chimney Fire’ near Paso Robles with Buckskin’s Type 6 brush engine, according to Chief Chris Chambers.
“We have a dedicated group of men who devote a lot of time to wildland each year with training and the physical demands,” Chambers told Parker Live.
As well as being able to help put out wildfires, dispatching the engine and some Buckskin personnel to wildfires actually makes money for the fire district too.
“The fire covers their wages and backfill for coverage here at home at the station,” he said. “The money the engine makes goes into a Wildland fund that is used to purchase capital projects. It is paying for a water tender and will pay for a new fire engine so the taxpayers don’t have to. Going out on these fires greatly benefits Buckskin Fire District.”
Type 6 wildland engines are smaller than standard fire engines, based on a pickup truck frame and capable over off-road terrain with four-wheel drive. They can also typically pump water while driving, whereas most traditional engines must be put into ‘Park’ to flow water.
This wildfire season has been particularly acute in western states impacted by drought in recent years. As of Friday morning, there are 6 active major wildfires in the state of California alone, with 6 more having been recently contained. There are 3 burning in Arizona.