Twenty-two trained firefighters from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Northeast Region, and more than 150 from the agency nationwide, are on assignment battling the Rim Fire in California as well as blazes in Alaska, Idaho, Montana and Washington.
When a wildfire happens, trained professionals from federal and state agencies join forces on firefighting teams. In addition to serving as firefighters, we work on the fire line as specialists in law enforcement, forestry, safety and operations, and communications on fire teams.
Glen Stratton, lead for the Service’s fire program in the Northeast, is serving as fire operations chief on the Rim Fire. That huge fire has burned 280 square miles, destroyed more than 100 structures, and poses a threat to San Francisco’s water supply. Nearly 3,700 firefighters are on the ground fighting the fire, the biggest on record in California’s Sierra Nevada.
Stratton was interviewed as part of CBS News story on the Rim Fire. He described the fire’s elusive behavior: “We can’t be directly at the fire’s edge…we’ve got to let the fire come to us.”
Learn more about how the Service works to keep fire on our side.
UPDATE – September 3 – After 17 days, the Rim Fire has burned 368 square miles. Click here for up to date information about the fire.