FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA

Solano County

Some Solano firefighters out battling wildfires, others head home

By From page A1 | August 24, 2013

FAIRFIELD — Solano County still has a number of resources out battling the various wildfires across the state.

Aaron McAlister, Dixon fire chief and mutual aid coordinator for Solano County, said the strike team deployed Monday to the Swedes Fire near Oroville was reassigned to the Hough Complex, a series of lightning fires in Plumas County, before being released Friday morning to head for home.

“I fully expect them to be re-dispatched to another incident, most likely the Rim Fire,” McAlister said, referring to the massive fire that crossed Friday into Yosemite National Park.

That team includes five engines and a strike team leader with 25 personnel total from the Vacaville Fire Protection District, Vacaville Fire Department, Dixon Fire Department, Benicia Fire Department and Vallejo Fire Department.

The county also has a Type 6 engine from the Montezuma Fire Protection District on the Corral Fire in the mountains of Northern California.

McAlister said the Vacaville Fire Department also sent an Office of Emergency Services engine to the Rim Fire, which The Associated Press reported Friday was up to 165 square miles and had entered Yosemite.

“They have four personnel and were working out in Groveland (Friday),” McAlister said. “That fire has doubled in size every day for the last three days. I saw it burned 19,000 acres in two hours.”

The county also sent two overhead personnel to the Rim Fire.

“A field observer from Vacaville and (Battalion Chief) Bob Stoffel from Fairfield was a divisional supervisor on the Swedes Fire. He came home (Thursday),” McAlister said. “So we’ll send individual personnel out who have special qualifications and equipment as well.”

Doug Rogers, deputy chief with the Vacaville Fire Protection District, said his department also sent a water tender to the Rim Fire with two personnel.

McAlister was also careful to point out that the county provides this aid without hurting its ability to cover its own cities.

“We do this without compromising our resources. We have not lowered any staffing in any of our communities,” McAlister said. “We remain fully staffed and able to handle any emergency.”

He also said that more calls for aid to the state are likely to come.

“We have reached the peak of fire season and there are absolutely critical conditions,” he said. “We expect to provide a lot more mutual aid in the next 30 days or so.”

Reach Mike Corpos at 427-6979 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mcorposdr.

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