Missouri firefighters dispatched to battle Western wildfires

2 years 11 months 2 weeks ago Thursday, August 27 2015 Aug 27, 2015 Thursday, August 27, 2015 1:25:00 PM CDT August 27, 2015 in News
By: Alyssa Casares, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

JEFFERSON CITY - Mid-Missouri firefighters are among a group of about 120 volunteers helping battle the ongoing wildfires in California, Oregon, Washington, Montana and Idaho.

Jody Eberly is the fire program manager at the Mark Twain National Forest and said the total number of volunteers dispatched through the Missouri-Iowa Coordination Center varies from day to day.

"You're always having people come home and get sent out," Eberly said.

The Missouri Department of Conservation partnered with the Missouri-Iowa Coordination Center to help provide volunteers to battle the wildfires.

Ben Webster is the fire program supervisor at the MDC and is waiting for the center to dispatch his crew.

"I'm part of the next crew that's supposed to go," Webster said. 

Eberly said Missouri firefighters are expected to work at least 14 days that last anywhere from 12 to 16 hours at a time.

"We have firefighters who are out doing the fire line instruction," Eberly said. "We also have people who are out there managing some of the aviation resources like the helicopter and who are working in the base camps to provide the food and shelter and showers for the firefighters."

Gale Blomenkamp is the assistant chief for the Boone County Fire District and said the firefighters experience harsh conditions on the job.

"When you start battling in wildfire that is running several miles in a day, it can grow from 20,000 to 60,000 acres in a 24 hour period," Blomenkamp said. "A lot of homes are threatened. A lot of roads are closed. It's a very dangerous, very dynamic situation for firefighters."

Eberly said fire conditions in the west are much different than that of Missouri.

"The guys were out on the line can be out in very hot, dry, dirty, smoky conditions," Eberly said. "A lot of times they are at a higher altitude than we are used to working at in Missouri, so it can be dangerous and exhausting work."

Western states have a different fire season than Missouri, which allows the coordination center to send Missouri firefighters to help battle the blazes.

"Missouri's fire seasons are in the spring before the leaves pop out, and then in the fall when our leaves fall off the trees or on the ground," Eberly said. "That's our fuel, the Missouri leaves. Normally we don't have fires in the summer because the humidity is so high."

In addition to the different seasons, Webster said weather plays a large role in the wildfires.

"What we deal with most is all these fires are caused by lightning," Webster said. "Here in Missouri when we have a thunderstorm go through, and we see lightning, we have the moisture that comes with it.The majority of these fires are caused by what we call dry lightning. The west coast experiences lightning storms and they don't have the rain that follows it."

The Missouri-Iowa Coordination Center will welcome home one of its dispatched crews Monday.

 

 

More News

Grid
List
BEVIER, Mo. (AP) — A suspect is hospitalized after being shot by a sheriff's deputy in north-central Missouri. Macon... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, August 15 2018 Aug 15, 2018 Wednesday, August 15, 2018 6:11:00 AM CDT August 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Boone County Sheriff's Department is investigating a shots fired case in northeast Columbia. Around 2 a.m.... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, August 15 2018 Aug 15, 2018 Wednesday, August 15, 2018 4:50:00 AM CDT August 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Assistant Police Chief John Gordon says the police department will be beefing up patrols in downtown Columbia this... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 11:30:00 PM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY - Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer announced he is conceding the race for the Republican nomination for the governorship.... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 8:18:00 PM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - MU researchers say they've hit a "milestone" in developing a cancer treatment that could be more effective than... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 6:57:00 PM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Voters will now be able to decide whether or not they approve of a gas tax increase,... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 6:37:00 PM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A judge ruled against Traveler Indemnity Company in a lawsuit stemming from Ryan Ferguson's wrongful prosecution and conviction... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 5:24:00 PM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- The Indiana woman who lost nine members of her family in a duck boat sinking last month in... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 4:56:00 PM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A new state law on temporary license permits is just two weeks away from being enforced. The... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 4:02:00 PM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
VERSAILLES - The Morgan County Sheriff's Office said a man died from a gunshot wound on Sunday, and Versailles police... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 1:45:00 PM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - With school starting today for Columbia Public Schools students, some construction projects are finished while others are just... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 1:44:00 PM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
Jefferson City - One person was injured in a car crash on the Missouri River Bridge on Tuesday. The... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 11:48:00 AM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - An Osage County judge ruled in favor of Missouri Secretary of State Jay Aschroft on Tuesday in... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 11:34:43 AM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
BEVIER - The Missouri State Highway Patrol is investigating a deputy-involved shooting in Macon County. The man whom a... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 10:32:00 AM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
MEXICO - Authorities responded to several small fires along railroad tracks running through town on Monday. Norfolk Southern Railroad... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 9:59:00 AM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
TAOS, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on 11 children found living in a filthy, makeshift compound in New Mexico (all... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 8:06:00 AM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska is preparing to carry out its first execution since 1997 on Tuesday in a bewildering... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 6:06:00 AM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill says she supports measures on Missouri's November ballot to increase the state's... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 5:58:00 AM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 80°
11am 83°
12pm 85°
1pm 88°
2pm 89°