Peninsula firefighters to lend hand in wildfires elsewhere

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

North Olympic Peninsula firefighters have boots on the ground in the battle against wildfires raging in Eastern Washington, Oregon and Idaho.

On Thursday, Clallam County Fire District No. 2 Chief Sam Phillips was on his way to the Shaniko Butte fire in central Oregon near the Warm Springs tribal reservation to help coordinate safety efforts for a multi-agency team fighting that fire.

A total of about 230 firefighters were battling the Shaniko Butte blaze, which had reached 18,000 acres by Wednesday, according to Oregon news station KTVZ.

On Wednesday, Curtis Sanders and Gavin Rogers from East Jefferson Fire-Rescue were dispatched with a brush fire engine to the Chiwaukum Creek fire near Leavenworth in Washington's Chelan County, spokesman Bill Beezley said.

The pair were set to join a larger “strike force” of other firefighters from King, Pierce, Snohomish and Lewis counties, Beezley said.

About a week

Fire Chief Gordon Pomeroy said the team will be deployed for about a week.

“If they're needed for longer than that, we'll bring them back and rotate two new firefighters,” he said in a statement.

East Jefferson will be reimbursed all travel and equipment costs, Beezley said.

Chief Steve Vogel of Clallam County Fire District No 3. said Thursday that District No. 3 firefighters Len Horst, Eric Chamberlin and Travis Anderson had returned earlier this week with a brush truck from another Eastern Washington blaze: the Mills Canyon fire north of Wenatchee near the small community of Entiat.

Chamberlin was soon redeployed to a fire in Oregon along with firefighters Chris Corbin and James Brown, Vogel said, adding that District No. 3 also had firefighter Bryan Swanberg at a fire in Oregon.

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Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at jschwartz@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: July 17. 2014 10:54PM
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