Three strike teams of firefighters from western Washington are on their way to join the fight against the fires that have devastated northern California.
The teams are taking traditional fire engines and other specialized engines known as a type 3 apparatus.
The type 3 apparatus has 4-wheel drive and extra capabilities that make it better suited for a wildland fire. It also has the unique feature of being able to spray water while in motion, which makes it safer for firefighters.
About 50 firefighters are headed for the Santa Rosa area and will be there for at least two weeks. The King County crews met early Friday morning at a rest stop south of Olympia and caravanned together.
It wasn’t clear if firefighters would be heading out to the fire lines or taking shifts at local stations to give relief to other crews who have been working around the clock.
“I'm sure they're going to be happy to see us,” Battalion Chief Dave McDaniel said. “Fresh set of 10 engines roll in to relieve them; they're going to be happy, and we're going to be happy to help them out.”
McDaniel says Washington received help from California firefighters during some of the fires this summer and they are glad to try and help in the effort. Some of the members of the strike team helped fight fires in California in 2010.