FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
24 July 2012
Contact: Steve Lipsher, Public Information Officer
Office: (970) 262-5209
Lake Dillon and Red, White & Blue fire send crews to regional wildfires
Wildfire crews from Lake Dillon and Red, White & Blue Fire Departments have been reassigned from the dwindling Powell Complex wildfires in western Colorado to the Fairfield Creek Fire in Nebraska.
Last Thursday, Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue sent three firefighters — engine boss Jonathan Bradley, engineer Dennis Jackson and firefighter/paramedic Mike Miller — on a Type III (structure) engine to the 514-acre Brush Creek Fire south of Rangely. They subsequently were reassigned to the Little Duck Fire northwest of Meeker in Rio Blanco County. Meanwhile, Red, White & Blue Fire on Friday sent engine boss Keith McMillan and firefighters Tim Caldwell and Aaron Schlachter on a Type VI (wildland) engine to the adjacent Powell Fire, and both fires now are being managed as the Powell Complex. The lightning-caused fires, burning in juniper, sagebrush and grass, are smoldering after rainfall over the past couple of days, and with 250 personnel and significant containment in place on the 1,639-acre fire, both of the Summit County fire crews were released to the Fairfield Creek Fire, two miles south of Norden, Neb.
The Fairfield Creek Fire, only 15 percent contained and burning in timber and grass, has reached 50,000 acres and is showing active fire behavior, including long-range spotting and crowning. On Tuesday, both crews were traveling to Nebraska.
“We always like to help our our neighbors throughout the state and the region when they are in need,” said Lake Dillon Fire Chief Dave Parmley. “We know that if we’re ever strapped for resources, they will gladly return the favor.”
When local firefighters are requested out of the region by federal fire managers, the federal government picks up the cost of their wages and expenses, as well as the cost to fill their normal shifts. For smaller departments, working on bigger wildfires also provides the firefighters with invaluable training and experience to bring back home, said RWB Chief Lori Miller.
Additionally, Lake Dillon’s volunteer Fire Corps members Dan and Wendy Myers have been dispatched in their roles as federal fire administrators. Dan Myers is a personnel time recorder assigned to the Type I federal team working at the Myrtle Fire in the Black Hills National Forest of South Dakota. Wendy Myers is a finance officer who has been assigned to the Fairfield Creek Fire as well.