Washington fire crews head to California
Washington is sending dozens of firefighters and equipment to join in the struggle to control the Southern California blazes, with some...
Seattle Times staff reporter
Washington is sending dozens of firefighters and equipment to join in the struggle to control the Southern California blazes, with some crews en route and more expected to depart today.
The state Emergency Management Division reports that two strike teams — each with 21 people and equipment to fight structural fires — departed last night with firefighters drawn from King, Pierce, San Juan and Thurston counties.
These teams will be joined by four to seven more strike teams that will depart today, assembled from Benton, Clark, Kittitas, Grant, Snohomish, Walla Walla and Whatcom counties.
"We are proud of the men and women from Washington who stand ready to assist in battling this fire," said Gov. Christine Gregoire. "We wish these firefighters a safe journey, and, with their families, look forward to their safe return."
The teams are responding to a late Monday request for assistance from California for a total of 50 strike teams drawn from outside the state, according to Mark Clemens, a spokesman for the Emergency Management Division, which is coordinating the response.
The request was sent through a mutual aid agreement between the 50 states and is the same system that was used to send emergency personnel and equipment from others states to Louisiana after Katrina.
The teams will be deployed to California for two weeks.
Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company
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