Friday, August 17, 2012

Boots on the Ground: Washington Conservation Corps provides support for wildland firefighting efforts in Kittitas County

By Bridget Mason, WCC Coordinator, Washington Conservation Corps

Wildfire approaching windmills in Ellensburg.

WCC crew move fuel cans for use by firefighting equipment.
Photos by Ernie Farmer
Beginning at 6 a.m. on August 13, the Washington Conservation Corps (WCC) deployed eight AmeriCorps members and two WCC Crew Supervisors to assist with efforts to contain the Taylor Bridge wildfire near Cle Elum, Washington.

The team has members from Bellevue, Ellensburg, Seattle, Wenatchee and Yakima. Upon their arrival, the crew worked to establish a base camp by setting up yurts, telephone lines, and supply trailers. After completing initial setup, the team began coordinating donations, serving meals, and coordinating equipment for the fire line.

WCC Supervisor, Ernie Farmer, has been impressed with the outpouring of community support explaining, “Over ten tons of donations have poured in from around the state and this same support is being demonstrated at the shelters and animal care facilities in the area.”

The team plans to stay as long as they are needed. Current estimates report the fire as 25 percent contained. The fire has burned 20,000 acres and destroyed over 60 homes.
This website has the latest report on the firefighting effort.

The WCC has 70 members and staff certified to fight wildfires that are available for this response, if needed. This certification is just one of several offered in the WCC program. We provide crews at a moment’s notice for disasters throughout Washington and the U.S., providing first-hand assistance to citizens in Washington and across the nation during floods, fires, hurricanes and other natural disasters.

Learn more about the Washington Conservation Corps.

No comments: