District 3 firefighters assist in Wenatchee, Spokane Valley

Sequim firefighters have been in eastern Washington since July 10 helping suppress flames in the Spokane Valley and the Wenatchee areas.

Clallam County Fire District 3 sent three firefighters to each location, three on a wildland firetruck owned by the district and three on a cooperative engine owned by the Washington Department of Natural Resources.

Steve Chin, Jack Hueter and Tharin Huisman are on the DNR firetruck in the Spokane Valley. About 1,000 acres have burned and while the fire has been contained, it continues to burn and firefighters are needed to control what is left, do suppression work and wet down potential hot spots where the fire could flare up again.

Len Horst, Bryan Swanberg and Travis Anderson are on the District 3 brush fire engine in Wenatchee. The Wenatchee fire is still blazing due to gusty winds and high temperatures.

A third crew, including two District 3 firefighters, was sent to Moses Lake, but the fire was contained and they were sent back to Sequim before reaching the central Washington city.

District 3 has sent its firefighters to other areas to help fight wildfires for some time. Firefighter-paramedic Derrell Sharp said District 3 established the wildland fire team to be able to respond because of the risk of fires across the North Olympic Peninsula.

However, while there is a potential for wildland fires on the peninsula, there haven’t been many so District 3 sends its firefighters to other areas at the first call for help, to get experience and to help out a neighbor.

“It’s hard to get trained on this type of firefighting if we aren’t having them locally, so as requests come in for crews and resources we jump on the opportunity, not only to help but to be better prepared to fight these wildfires in our own area,” Sharp said.

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