Firefighting operations on the Miles fire don’t just end when the sun goes down.
“On average, we’re out here as long as necessary. A minimum of 13 hours, as long as needed,” said crew boss trainee Alberto Gomez.
In fact, fighting fires at night plays a crucial role in controlling wildfires.
“Night shift is — especially in August — is extremely important in these operations,” said Jason Pettigrew, the night operations chief. “A lot of the work, the success that we have as firefighters occurs at night shift. We can continue those as fire activity dies down.”
And the weather conditions at night often make it possible for crews to fight the fire more aggressively.
“Typically nights have higher humidities so they’re able to do more firing operations and get a little more aggressive than they can during the day, but again, you have cooler temperatures so that helps keep that fire behavior down and the aggressiveness of the fire,” explained safety officer Shannon Bowman.
And the forecast is constantly changing.