A firefighter from the Puget Sound area was injured while helping fight the raging wildfires in Southern California Thursday morning.
The firefighter with South Kitsap Fire & Rescue was one of the department's team members working the Woolsey Fire in Malibu when he was struck by a civilian car.
He was flown by helicopter to a local hospital with members of his team, officials said. The extent of his injuries was not given, but he was expected to survive. "Our focus at this time is on the firefighter, his family, our fire district and our community," South Kitsap Fire & Rescue officials said.
The firefighters was assigned to Washington Task Force 2, which has been taken out of service and is getting rest. Crews aren't sure yet if they will return to the fire or be sent home.
Fire Chief Steve Wright was able to speak briefly with the firefighter after he was stabilized and said it was great to hear his voice and know he is okay.
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For 43 years, Spokane Fire Department Capt. Greg Borg, 68, has answered the call – actually thousands of calls.
This week he served his final shift, like all the ones before it, scrambling into his turnout gear and into the rig at Station 18 in North Spokane, heading out with lights flashing and sirens blaring, to help those in need.
For him, retirement isn’t due to burnout.
“I love it,” he said. “I love what I do.”
The 1968 Shadle grad knew a couple of firefighters growing up.
“They were good guys,” Borg said. “It seemed like something I’d like to do.”
He worked at fire departments in Boise and Richland before joining the SFD in 1978. He quickly discovered his favorite part of the job.
“I love going out on calls,” he said. “I love seeing what’s on the other end. Every shift is different.”
He also quickly discovered that dealing with death is an occupational hazard. Borg can’t count how many fatalities he’s responded to, including a recent death that still haunts him.
An elderly woman is dead after a mobile home fire Wednesday night.
According to the Yakima Fire Department, the woman was killed when a fire broke out in a single-wide mobile home. The fire sparked in the Broadmoor Mobile Park near Washington Avenue and South 3rd Avenue shortly after 10:00 Wednesday night. Due to the intense heat of the fire, crews couldn't immediately go into the home to search for the suspected trapped victim, Shift Commander Tom Schneider says.
Once firefighters were able to get inside, the woman was found near the fire's most intense area of origin.
Officials say there appears to be "a significant amount of fire throughout 50% of the entire dwelling."
The woman's identity will be determined by the Yakima County Coroner.
A home in Buckley was completely destroyed when a fire ripped through the building early Thursday morning.
The fire was reported around 2 a.m. to the home in the 15000 block of 261st Ave. East, according to East Pierce Fire & Rescue officials.
The elderly residents inside managed to escape before firefighters arrived and no one was injured. However, firefighters faced difficulty in battling the blaze due to a lack of nearby fire hydrant and readily available source of water.Two visiting relatives staying in an adjacent RV were OK and the RV wasn't damaged.
There is no word yet what started the fire.
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The city of Leavenworth tops a new report listing of Washington communities most exposed to wildfire danger, with Ellensburg, Wenatchee, Chelan, Cashmere and Omak neighboring it in the top 10.
The U.S. Forest Service report "Exposure of human communities to wildfire in the Pacific Northwest," carried out by Montana fire assessment firm Pyrologix, finds those communities among the 50 most-threatened in Washington when it comes to wildland blazes. "Exposure," in the Pyrologix report, amounts to "the likelihood of wildfire burning a given location on the landscape." The probability of wildfire affecting an individual housing unit in Leavenworth was calculated at 108 per 10,000, the report says, while in Wenatchee — number five on the ranked list — the probability was 17 per 10,000. The figures are based on factors including annual occurrence of wildfire, housing density, and proximity to fire-prone landscape.
With the knowledge in the report, the authors write, homeowners and buyers can be better informed of risk, and governments and other agencies can "prioritize communities for home-loss mitigation efforts, allocate mitigation funding, inform building codes, and guide residential development."
A Maple Falls woman was uninjured, but her apartment was a complete loss due to a Thursday morning blaze that fire crews believe started as the result of a smoking accident.
Whatcom County Fire District 14 responded at 5:30 a.m. to the 7900 block of Apache Drive and found a 12 foot-by-15 foot, metal-clad outside structure that had been converted into an apartment, District 14 Chief Jerry Debruin told The Bellingham Herald Thursday in an interview.
“The woman who lived there was smoking, and that’s what we think started it,” Debruin said.
“She came up to the main house and said, ‘I think my place is on fire.’ It was fully involved by the time we got there.”