SALT LAKE CITY (News4Utah) – Utah firefighters are joining in the effort contain a massive wildfire in northern California.
Eleven firefighters from Salt Lake City Fire Department leave for California Thursday morning to join the battle against wildfires raging along the West Coast.
Chief Karl Lieb said Salt Lake City leaders and local firefighters felt it was important for Utah to support the Golden State’s critical fire-suppression needs.
“We are often humbled by the immense responsibility of this profession,” Chief Lieb said. “And yet, we are proud to join the brave individuals who already have been working tirelessly in California to save lives, protect property, and control these devastating wildfires.”
Lieb added that the department’s commitment to the task force will have zero impact on the Salt Lake City Fire Department’s ability to respond to local emergencies and fight fires at home.
Salt Lake City firefighters met at the Maverick Center on Thursday morning and joined a caravan of other deploying crews from Draper Fire, Murray Fire, Lone Peak Fire, Provo Fire, Uintah City Fire, and West Valley City Fire. It is anticipated that they may be deployed for up to three weeks.
Utah firefighters will join the 12,000-plus firefighters throughout the country who have been traveling from as far as Florida and New Jersey.
Crews have been attacking 17 major California wildfires, 12 of which are still active, and there seems to be no end in sight to the epidemical blaze that has claimed eight lives, burned 240,000 acres, and destroyed more than 1,000 structures so far.
This will be the third California deployment since October 2017 by Utah firefighters.