Missouri firefighters dispatched to battle Western wildfires

4 years 1 month 3 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
CALIFORNIA - A man heard his sentence on Friday after killing a 20-year-old three years ago for drunk driving. ... More >>
2 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 6:31:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Below are scores from football games around mid-Missouri. Final scores are in bold. ... More >>
3 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 6:06:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in Friday Night Fever
COLUMBIA —The University of Missouri issued a statement Friday that the MU Department of Theatre was "in error" when it... More >>
3 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 5:52:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Friday Night Fever’s Week 8 Game of the Week features a dominant Helias (6-1) visited by a surging... More >>
3 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 5:44:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in Friday Night Fever
COLUMBIA — The True False Film Festival and Ragtag Cinema are dissolving their relationship with Columbia church The Crossing. Cinema... More >>
3 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 5:33:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Springfield Mayor Ken McClure hosted a group for a strategy session that included Governor Mike Parson in October.... More >>
4 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 4:18:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY - The extent of Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes' leg injury sustained during the team's Thursday night... More >>
6 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 3:07:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in Sports
JEFFERSON CITY - A damaged downtown Jefferson City building is scheduled for demolition, but the owners have filed an appeal... More >>
6 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 2:26:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - A drug company's decision is causing new worries for the families of children with cancer. Vincristine, a... More >>
7 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 1:55:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City Police investigated a threat at Thomas Jefferson Middle School on Friday. TJMS sent out... More >>
7 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 1:27:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A woman is dead after a car crash on Highway 63 in Columbia on Thursday afternoon. Columbia... More >>
9 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 11:57:00 AM CDT October 18, 2019 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Leaders from several organizations from around Boone County gathered Friday to talk about various county-wide goals. The... More >>
10 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 11:10:00 AM CDT October 18, 2019 in Top Stories
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Authorities are investigating a triple homicide in a Kansas City neighborhood. Police spokesman... More >>
10 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 11:01:00 AM CDT October 18, 2019 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - A man was arrested Thursday evening after police found dangerous drugs during a routine traffic stop. The arrest... More >>
16 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 4:29:00 AM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The fifth annual Project Homeless Connect begins Friday. The event provides support for those experiencing homelessness,... More >>
17 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 3:23:00 AM CDT October 18, 2019 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Sixteen Columbians will travel to Columbia's Japanese sister city, Hakusan City, to reaffirm the relationship between the two... More >>
18 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 2:29:00 AM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — After a controversial sermon at The Crossing on Sunday, the LGBTQ community is calling for those involved to... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, October 17 2019 Oct 17, 2019 Thursday, October 17, 2019 7:41:00 PM CDT October 17, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Princeton Review named the University of Missouri to three of its "best" lists. MU made the... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, October 17 2019 Oct 17, 2019 Thursday, October 17, 2019 6:16:51 PM CDT October 17, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 57°
10pm 57°
11pm 56°
12am 55°
1am 53°