Four North Whidbey firefighters were part of the firefighting effort in California this past week, and smoke from the wildfires has tinged the Whidbey skyline in recent weeks.
The North Whidbey Fire and Rescue crew left last week with an engine to assist in the firefighting efforts along with firefighters from several other agencies from Western Washington, according to Chief John Clark.
The local firefighters were originally assigned to work on the North Complex Fire near Chico, Calif. As of Thursday, the fire has burned more than 316,000 acres and is 79 percent contained since it began in mid-August.
More than 2,000 homes and other structures have been destroyed and 15 people have died as a result of the fire.
Clark said the North Whidbey firefighters had been tasked with protecting homes near the North Complex Fire. They worked in 24-hour shifts. The team committed to a two-week deployment, and with travel days, Clark said the firefighters won’t be back home until Oct. 11.