N.C. Wildlife firefighters from Richmond County head west
by Dawn M. Kurry Richmond County Daily Journal
Three Richmond County firefighters are heading out to the western part of the country to help tackle forest fires.
North Carolina’s wet spring and summer have meant a below-normal wildfire season, allowing N.C. Forest Service staff to assist states in the west, state officials said.
A 20-person crew left earlier this week to help fight one of the many wildfires burning in Alaska. Another 20-person crew is working on a wildfire near Portage, Utah.
A third, multi-agency crew will be traveling to Boise, Idaho, on Saturday, where it will be assigned to one of the many fires in that region. This crew is made up of individuals from the N.C. Forest Service, The Nature Conservancy, N.C. Division of Parks & Recreation and multiple volunteer fire departments. This crew will contain two men from Richmond County; Matt Gordon of Hamlet and Marvis Judd of Rockingham, according to Richmond County Forest Ranger Tim McFayden.
“When people are in need of help, we’ll help them because we may need help ourselves,” said McFayden. “These men are well-trained and equipped for the task. “
According to McFayden, Greg Cox of Rockingham, another firefighter with N.C. Wildlife, left earlier this week to head west where he joined an equipment management team to help with support and logistics. McFayden said the men will likely be gone a total of 18 days, two of which are spent travelling.
Forest Service employees also have helped fight wildfires in California, Oregon and Washington. All total, the agency has sent 78 people to work on wildfires in the western U.S. this year.
“Whenever there are extreme wildfires in our country, fire agencies work together to help one another,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Over the years, many of our employees have trained with other state and federal agencies. Those trainings and these opportunities to work together ultimately benefit North Carolina because our employees obtain knowledge and experience that can be used when responding to incidents here.
“I don’t think any state can battle large wildfires without help from others,” he said. “Our employees know that the work they do to help other firefighting agencies will come back to us in the form of assistance when we need it.”
The requesting agencies will reimburse the state for providing the assistance.
— Staff Writer Dawn M. Kurry can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 15, or by email at email@example.com.
Commentscomments powered by Disqus
Local Gas Prices