UPDATE | Local firefighters go straight to front line at Williams Lake Fire

Posted 8/5/22

After driving through the night, the joint crew of firefighters from East Jefferson County were allowed two hours to sleep before they were sent to the front lines of the Williams Lake Fire.

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UPDATE | Local firefighters go straight to front line at Williams Lake Fire

Posted

After driving through the night, the joint crew of firefighters from East Jefferson County were allowed two hours to sleep before they were sent to the front lines of the Williams Lake Fire.

A usual shift for a fire of this magnitude is around 24 hours before getting another chance to rest, said East Jefferson Fire Rescue Chief Bret Black.

"They were pretty exhausted," Black said.

Lt. Gavin Rogers (East Jefferson) and firefighters Jacob Kinney (East Jefferson) and Alex Sviridovich (Port Ludlow) are assigned to Brush Engine 11 as part of the task force.

The Washington Department of Natural Resources has reported that the Williams Lake Fire has burned 3,200-acres so far with less than 10 percent containment.

On Friday, crews will be providing structure protection and trying to get better mapping.

Now that they've had a chance to rest after their first shift, the Jefferson County firefighters have been assigned to perimeter control at the fire’s edge. From this position, their job is to make sure hot spots and smoldering embers are put out in order to keep the wind from carrying anything that could ignite further flames.

“It's a tedious and exhausting part of the job, not as exciting, but really important,” Black said.

Since being deployed, more fires have started in the region and the Jefferson County departments continue to receive requests that now must be declined as they have reached maximum draw-down.

“We have to maintain a certain level of reserve firefighters for our community,” Black said.

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