Local Firefighters Deployed To Help Across Washington and Oregon

Local firefighters are being called up to help across the region.

The Tri-Cities and surrounding areas have about 30 firefighters and equiptment spread across Oregon and Washington fighting various fires.

Benton County fire district 2 firefighter/EMT AJ Emrick just got back Tuesday from being deployed to a fire in the Mills Canyon area.

A fire that has burned about 23,000 acres and is mostly controlled but still burning.

Emrick said firefighters don't know exactly what to expect when they are deployed to a fire but once they get there it all comes together.

He said he enjoys getting the chance to work with other firefighters from around the United States.

"We already try to train the same way as the other districts and stations in our area can to get the opportunity train with the rest of the guys it really shows how that effort is being put in the right direction," said Emrick.

Benton County fire district one Captain Devin Helland said the Tri-Cities works as one unit to send teams to these fires.

"The state will put a call into the Tri-Cities area, and different chiefs manager at different times of the the year," Helland siad.  "They call and say hey we are looking for a strike team from your area than that chief puts out the call out to the district and city department and they try to work up what the state needs."

Pasco fire Battalion Chief Dave Hare said the Tri-Cities always has enough people and equipment to cover anything that happens in this area.

"Obviously the taxpayers are paying for us to be here and not there so we're going to cover our areas first and then if we can send resources we'll send them," siad Hare.

He believes any firefighter from the Tri-Cities and surrounding area are some of the most capable people to fight these big fires.  

"I think the Tri-Cities fire organizations are the best coordinated, trained and motivated group of people that I've ever had the pleasure to work," said Hare.

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