With wildfires raging throughout the state and elsewhere, two Skagit County fire districts have sent crews to help.
Firefighters from Fire District 3, which serves the Conway area, and Fire District 14, which serves the Alger area, were first sent to the Evans Canyon Fire between Yakima and Ellensburg, and are now likely to be sent to the Pearl Hill Fire near Wenatchee, Fire District 14 Chief David Skrinde said.
“We’re really here to help out our neighbors,” he said. “If we had a large event … I know that I can depend on people coming over here and helping.”
Fire District 14 also sent a crew to California to help fight the Lightning Complex fires ravaging that state’s wine country.
Those deployments generally last up to 18 days, Skrinde said. His crew returned Friday after a 10-day deployment.
While districts are compensated for deploying their resources and firefighters, the bigger advantage is in what the firefighters take away from working with larger departments, Skrinde said.
“When they come home, I believe they are actually a lot better tooled up for their jobs,” he said. “I believe that is the most valuable.”
While both districts have been able to send units elsewhere in the state, they are also prepared to handle any blazes that should arise in their own districts.
With the warm weather, high winds and low humidity, that is a risk, Skrinde said.
“It’s the right mixture for bad fires,” he said.