Across the state of Utah dozens of firefighters from different agencies prepared to leave last Sunday for California. The death toll confirmed at 48 with about 100 people still missing across the state. The fire has been named the deadliest fire California has seen.
Pitching in efforts from surrounding states is now necessary. More than 100 Utah fire personnel joined the more than 8,000 California firefighters covering over 1,035 fire engines, 141 dozers, 166 hand crews, and 80 water tenders. There are nearly 50 helicopters and numerous air tankers being used to combat the flames according to Cal Fire. More than 135,00 acres have burned and destroyed homes and structures. Numerous shelters are full by those who have lost their homes. Almost a quarter of a million people have been affected, spanning across all socioeconomic areas. Cal Fire states the blaze is 35% contained.
Local, Boyd Carrigan was assigned as task leader of Utah Task Force #2. Carrigan is the Morgan County Fire Warden, and a state employee. Carrigan’s force consists of 22 firefighters, 4 structure engines, 2 brush trucks, and has been assigned to the Woolsey Fire.
Another reported local sent to help with DNA identification of victims from the fire, is Keith Squires.
The deployments will be no less than 14 days, but quite possibly will be longer. Carrigan rode out Sunday, spending the night in Las Vegas before arriving in California on Monday morning. Tents span the area as a refuge for fire personnel to get what little rest is offered combating such wild flames.
Carrigan’s daughter, Casuree Roberts, said, “He (Carrigan) will miss Thanksgiving with us, but he is doing the right thing.”
Across the nation the hope is the same, that first responders will return home safely, and those missing will be found.