Local Firefighters Arrive on Fire-lines

By: Joe Harrington, KOLO Email
By: Joe Harrington, KOLO Email

At least 130 Nevada firefighters have been sent to SoCal.

Capt. Jim Kindness of the Sparks Fire Department says he and other local firefighters arrived in SoCal Monday night. At 2 a.m. Tuesday, they were called to the fire-lines and continued working until 5 o'clock that evening.

"We worked all night securing some line and doing some firing out operations, where they're back-burn(ing) hills to meet up with the intense fire that's burning down to try to cut it off," Kindness said.

Nevada's bravest are setting up lines of hoses trying to stop the infernos from spreading. 30 engines from Nevada, including one known as "Brush 11" from Sparks are now on scene.

Kindness is among local firefighters that have been battling a blaze in Temecula -- he says it's one of four newly started fires in that area alone.

The winds are blowing flames, as is occurring throughout the region, and the situation is unpredictable.

"They're like hurricane strength winds out here. We've seen several big rigs blown over on the side of the freeway," Kindness said.

Nevada's National Guard forces are also responding to the emergency.
Chinook and Blackhawk helicopters have left for Southern California.
Two C-130s are also helping out.

Nevada Guardsman Major Koby Harding has been flying one of the planes. Harding said: "The smoke made us completely lose contact with the ground visually so we flew on instruments for a portion of the descent."

Nevada's Guard is transporting California Guard members to SoCal. Harding says he believes it's so they can provide security in areas devastated by fire.

Firefighters say more help continues to arrive, but resources are strained. There's no word on when it will be time to come home.

"I'm sure we'll be... down here the rest of the week. We can be up to 14 days down here, I don't expect us to be here that long, but if these winds keep up, I'm sure they're not gonna let any of us get out of here," Kindness said.

A newspaper's Web site is reporting two fires near Temecula are mostly contained. Kindness says he expects local firefighters will be assigned to a new location Wednesday.


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