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VRFA Deploys with Zone3 Strike Team to Colockum Fire

Valley Regional Fire Authority firefighters were part of a Zone3 strike team to deploy to the Colockum Fire. One Captain and two Firefighters left Friday night with a VRFA Brush truck to lend mutual aid in Chelan County.

Firefighters on the State Wildland Mobilization will assist fighting and containing the Colockum Fire near Wenatchee. Some of the tasks performed include locating and extinguishing hot spots, protecting structures, and digging line.

This deployment will have no impact on VRFA’s service to their district. Before committing members from Stations 31, 32, and 33, coverage for their shifts and stations were confirmed. ” Staffing is always assessed before sending crews,” said VRFA Public Information and Education Officer Kimberly Terhune.

“When we send people on deployments it is for two weeks maximum,” said Daris Conrad, VRFA Firefighter/EMT. “If we are needed for more time we will trade out people for another two-week deployment.”

All members of VRFA’s wildland team have previously deployed.  Eastside Fire & Rescue and Duvall Fire Department were among the Zone3 departments to send crews.

VRFA posted the following video on its Facebook:

“Our VRFA Wildland team sent this video from the Colockum Fire, showing one of the aircraft used in wildland firefighting operations. Some drop water, but this one is dropping fire retardant to limit the spread of the fire.” 

State Fire Mobilization Authorized for the Colockum Fire

Press Release, WA State Fire Marshal: State fire assistance has been mobilized under the Washington State Fire Services Resource Mobilization Plan in support of local firefighters working to contain the Colockum Fire located in Chelan County, near Malaga.  The Colockum Fire is burning in grass, sage, and brush.  Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste authorized the mobilization of state firefighting resources on July 24, 2020, at 6:30 pm at the request of Fire Chief Brian Brett, Chelan County Fire District 1.

vrfa, valley regional fire authority, Colockum fire, vrfa Colockum ,
A firefighter during the Colockum Fire | Courtesy VRFA

The Colockum Fire started on July 24, 2020, at approximately 2:14 pm.  This fire is estimated at 250 acres and growing.  It is threatening homes and infrastructure.  Level 3 evacuations are in effect at this time.  The fire cause is currently under investigation.

Mobilization specialists from the Fire Protection Bureau have ordered four wildland task forces.  The fire will be managed by a Type 3 Incident Management Team.

The State Emergency Operations Center at Camp Murray will remain activated to Level 1.  State Fire Marshal’s Office personnel are en route to the scene to coordinate dispatch of resources.

Under the State Fire Services Resource Mobilization Plan, the Fire Protection Bureau coordinates the initial dispatch and continued administrative oversight of resources and personnel for the duration of the mobilization.  The Mobilization Plan is implemented to provide a process to quickly notify, assemble and deploy fire service personnel, equipment and other resources from around the state when fires, disasters or other events exceed the capacity of local jurisdictions.  More information about the Washington State Fire Services Resource Mobilization Plan is available at:  http://www.wsp.wa.gov/draft-all-risk-mobilization/.

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