50°F
weather icon Mostly Cloudy

Nevada sends teams to help fight California fires

As wildfires destroy towns and force evacuations in Northern and Southern California, government agencies in Nevada have sent fire equipment and personnel to help.

As of the start of this week, at least 42 people had died from the fire and at least 200 were missing from the areas of the fires that include the Camp Fire outside of Paradise, California.

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval said on Twitter that Nevada has sent resources to help.

“We are praying for all those affected and for the safety of all the first responders,” said Sandoval, R-Reno, in announcing assistance.

Nevada resources include crews and fire trucks from both Reno and Sparks and two Nevada Division of Forestry strike teams.

The Southern Nevada office of Bureau of Land Management sent a fire engine and other officials to help with the blazes, said Zachary Ellinger, a fire mitigation and education specialist for the agency.

The vehicle is one of the bureau’s “bigger wildland engines” and is fully staffed, along with a strike team leader and public information officer to assist California crews, he said.

“It’ll have highly experienced leaders on board,” Ellinger said. “I anticipate they’ll be doing some structure protection.”

The Red Cross also will send a Nevada official to California, Cynthia De La Torre, spokeswoman for the Southern Nevada chapter of the relief organization, said. The Red Cross is sending a volunteer disaster mental health chief from its Reno chapter to Sacramento, about 90 miles south of Paradise, which has been almost completely destroyed by fire.

Ellinger said the BLM’s crews often find themselves in California.

“They have a year-round fire season in California now,” he said.

The Pahrump Valley and Las Vegas fire departments have not deployed resources to the California fires. The departments in Northern Nevada are typically more equipped to handle forest fires because of the area’s geography, Las Vegas Fire Department spokesman Tim Szymanski said.

Since Thursday, the Reno Fire Department has sent crews to both the Northern and Southern California fires, fire chief Robert Casos said.

The department has sent two staffed engines with a battalion chief to the northern blaze, and another engine to the southern fire. A line safety officer to monitor crews’ safety also was dispatched to Southern California, Casos said.

“As soon as the requests came in they started sending the apparatuses out,” Casos said.

Both the Reno Fire Department and the BLM will typically have crews in California for up to two weeks, but they could stay for three weeks or longer depending on the need.

Casos said the Reno department won’t be able to send any additional engines because it must ensure it’s covered in case a fire breaks out in Northern Nevada.

“It’s entirely possible that we could have a similar problem here,” he said.

Like the Southern Nevada BLM, the Reno Fire Department frequently sends crews to California, Casos said. The state’s fire season used to slow around September but now lasts longer.

“The fires in California are year-round, so our guys have been called out the past couple of years during the holidays,” Casos said.

The Pahrump Valley Times checked with the National Weather Service, which says haze in Nye County was from the deadly Camp Fire. The haze, which was mainly south of U.S. Highway 95 on Saturday, was expected to clear out by early Sunday. The haze, however, could return later this week, depending on fire behavior, the weather said.

— The Pahrump Valley Times staff contributed to this story.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Nevada police agencies to receive grant monies

At least $1.4 million in a Community Policing Development (CPD) program will make its way to Nevada to help support law enforcement officers.

VICTOR JOECKS: How Joe Biden stole Christmas

Christmas classics would be a lot different if they had been written during President Joe Biden’s administration.

Motorcycle crash prompts Mercy Air response

A structure fire on the 4400 block of East Paiute Boulevard prompted the response of Pahrump Valley Fire and Rescue Services crews.

Mizpah rates high in list of haunted stops

Under an agreement between conservationists and a federal agency, a finding must be issued by the end of the month.

 
Sisolak prepares for ‘heated year’ ahead of 2022 election

Gov. Steve Sisolak, in an interview at the governor’s mansion in Carson City, said he prays daily for guidance in handling the COVID pandemic.

Beatty VFW Memory Garden Dedicated

The Beatty VFW Memory Garden is now open and was dedicated Oct. 9 during the VFW post’s Fall Festival, which featured food, art and craft booths, and a silent auction.

Airport signs to soon show ‘Harry Reid’ as new name

Work could commence soon on updating signage at McCarran International Airport to reflect the name change to Harry Reid International Airport.

Ground turkey products recalled

Butterball, LLC, a Mount Olive, N.C. establishment, is recalling approximately 14,107 pounds of ground turkey products that may be contaminated with extraneous materials, specifically blue plastic, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).

Nevada Highway Patrol receives $100k public safety grant

By putting in additional efforts to combat drunk and distracted drivers along Silver State roadways, the Nevada Department of Public Safety, Highway Patrol Division has received a grant in the amount of $100,000 from the Nevada Department of Public Safety, Office of Traffic Safety for targeted DUI enforcement campaigns during the coming year.