Six Kirkland firefighters have recently been deployed to assist in fighting wildfires in Oregon and California. On July 21, Captain Ken Henderson and Firefighter Shawn McDougall were sent to fight the Natchez Fire south of Cave Junction, Oregon and were then reassigned to the Klondike Fire that is moving toward the Grants Pass area.
On Aug. 1, a crew of four firefighters, Captain Ivan Huld, Firefighters Kent Moffitt, Ryan Riedl and Mario Magnotti left for the Mendocino Complex Fire in northern California. This is the first time in eight years that Kirkland firefighters have been deployed out of state to fight wildfires.
“Fire departments across the country share services when resources are stretched, and we are glad that the City of Kirkland can help our neighbors to the south,” Chief Joe Sanford said in a press release. “Fighting fires of this type provides valuable experience with the wildland system and insight into the deployment process. We are proud of our well-trained firefighters and expect a safe return home when they’re done with the assignment.”
The Klondike Fire originated in steep, heavily woody terrain in the Siskiyou National Forest and has burned 7,253 acres. The fire is now moving toward populated areas in the Grants Pass area. As part of a Rapid Extrication Module (REMS), Kirkland’s firefighters participate in the rescue, care and transportation of injured firefighters. They are expected to return Aug. 4.
Firefighters in route to the Mendocino Complex Fire in California are part of Washington Team 2, a regional team from Puget Sound Fire Departments. Firefighters will be be away for 14-18 days and are expected to be on the fireline starting Friday, Aug. 3.