Michigan Firefighters Battling Wildfires on West Coast
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says they have sent more than a dozen firefighters to California, Oregon, Washington and other locations to battle wildfires.
The Carr fire in northern California has burned more than 100,000 acres to date, causing six deaths. Fire officials there put out a national request last week for wildland fire engines from across the nation, and a three-man crew took a Michigan truck from the DNR’s Gladwin unit to California.
Dan Laux, fire section manager for the DNR’s Forest Resources Division, just returned from a two-week fire assignment in Portland, Ore. where he worked mobilizing resources to battle fires in Oregon, Washington, California, and Idaho.
The DNR firefighters assist in any way they can and use the opportunity to gain valuable experience for fighting fires in Michigan.
Since the beginning of the year, Michigan has sent firefighters to California, Colorado, Florida, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Washington and Wyoming. When significant fires occur in Michigan, firefighters from other states and Canada are sometimes asked for help.
Michigan's largest recent fire was at Duck Lake in the eastern Upper Peninsula. That fire burned more than 21,000 acres in 2012.
The DNR always keeps enough firefighters in the state to respond to any fires that might occur and they are fully reimbursed for the cost of sending firefighters to assist elsewhere.