Local resources assist in California firefighting efforts | Local News Stories

SIERRA VISTA — Three local firefighters are in northern California battling the lightning-caused Clear Fire, which has grown to more than 6,500 acres since July 25.

Daniel Callahan, Dennis Ferrel and Rafael Enriquez of Fry Fire District left for California on July 30 where they joined approximately 375 firefighters battling the wildland fire, which is close to 60 percent contained.

Located 10 miles south of the Oregon border, Clear Fire is in a steep, forested area with rough terrain, said Enriquez, who noted that the region received about two hours of steady rain Thursday evening, which helped firefighting efforts. Along with the crew from Fry Fire, there are a number of resources from Arizona assisting with firefighting efforts.

Fry Fire Chief Mark Savage said the worst of the wildfire activity has seemed to shift from Arizona to California.

“We’re paying back the people who were helping us while we were in the middle of it,” Savage said. “Our three firefighters had been working on night shifts, supporting the Elk Mountain Hotshot crews with burnout operations for the past nine days. They’ve just switched over to day shift and we approved the extensions so they can stay in California where they will continue to support the crews there.”

Those extensions could include an additional two weeks, depending on firefighting efforts, Savage added.

Along with the three-man crew, Fry Fire sent a Type 3 engine, which Savage described as a cross between a brush truck and fire engine.

Local resources also assisted with another California fire — the Mordoc Complex — where the Palominas Fire District sent two members of its crew to assist with the blaze.

“We sent two firefighters, Johnny Leffelman and Justin McFarland, and Fry Fire sent Chris Bernal, who served as engine boss with our two crew members,” said…

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