Mount Vernon fire crew sent to battle California blazes

A crew from the Mount Vernon Fire Department assists in the effort to battle wildfires in northern California.

MOUNT VERNON — A four-person crew from the Mount Vernon Fire Department has been sent to help battle wildfires in northern California.

Chief Bryan Brice said the crew left Friday morning for Napa, California.

“Our crews are there to help any way they can,” Brice said.

The Mount Vernon crew was requested by the state of California, Brice said, and the Mount Vernon department will be reimbursed for personnel, travel and equipment costs, as well as wear and tear on the fire engine that has been sent down.

“We’re able to assist the state of California, which I think is a great use of resources,” Brice said. “It just shows that when we start sharing our resources, we don’t have to do (everything) alone.”

Skagit County Fire District 14, based out of Alger, also sent a four-person crew and fire truck, Chief David Skrinde said.

The request for assistance from Washington crews speaks to the severity of the situation, Brice said.

“It’s a common practice when the magnitude gets to that,” he said. “That’s where you start really drawing down the state’s resources.”

Brice said the crew will work a 24-hour shift, then have a 24-hour period off. This will continue for up to 16 days.

— Reporter Kera Wanielista: 360-416-2141, kwanielista@skagitpublishing.com, Twitter: @Kera_SVH, facebook.com/KeraReports

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