CCC CREWS RESPOND TO HISTORIC REQUEST FOR SUPPORT ON FIRES BURNING OUT OF STATE

Crews from CCC’s Pomona Center hit the Liberty Fire in Montana with construction skills- building bulletin boards to keep public and firefighters informed on the fire forecast.

Aug.  31, 2017

Requests for crews from the California Conservation Corps to support firefighter base camps operated by the U.S. Forest Service are at a record demand.

More than 150 corpsmembers are now on the scene of fires burning in Oregon and Montana.

“We haven’t seen demand this strong to support fighting fires that are out of state. It’s a load the CCC can definitely bear and we are glad to help,” said CCC Director, Bruce Saito.

The callout for support came from the U.S. Forest Service faced with finding base camp support for the thousands of firefighters battling seven fires burning in Oregon and Montana .

The crews are based at fire camps near Brookings, Jacksonville and Lowell in Oregon and near Arlee, Florence and Big Timber, Montana. The corpsmembers work 15-hour shifts for up to three weeks at a time in which they serve meals, stock supplies, organize parking and make sure firefighters have supplies at the ready.

They also untangle, inspect and roll up thousands of feet of recovered fire hose- 64 miles of fire hose just at the Lolo Peak Fire near Florence.

 

Photo hose roll up

Crews untangle and roll up more than 60 miles of recovered fire hose from the Lolo Peak Fire in Montana

“The role of camp support is critical in keeping firefighters fed, rested and ready to return to the fire lines. Being the largest and oldest conservation corps in the country, our young men and women are highly skilled and trained in doing this kind of work,” said Saito.

While the demand for out-of-state base camp support is high, the CCC is still able to offer deep coverage in response to requests within California.

In fact, 260 corpsmembers are currently assisting on wildfires in Butte, Del Norte, Humboldt, Siskiyou and Tulare counties.

The majority of the crews providing support in Oregon and Montana are projected to remain on scene through Labor Day weekend.