EVERETT — A convoy of fire engines left south Everett Friday morning carrying local crews prepared to battle the wildfires raging across northern California.
Four firefighters from South Snohomish County Fire & Rescue were joined by four other engines and crews from other area departments. The strike team expected to reach Napa Valley by midnight for an 18-day deployment.
“The whole strike team left from our headquarters this morning,” south county fire spokeswoman Leslie Hynes said.
Over the past week, low humidity and winds fanned numerous fires throughout eight California counties. At least 31 people have been killed, with the death toll expected to rise. Thousands of homes and businesses have been incinerated, including entire neighborhoods in Santa Rosa.
The local engine companies are from Everett, Arlington and two Snohomish County fire districts, 7 and 22. A total of 45 fire engines and crews from Washington are on their way to the California blazes. They’re responding as part of a mutual aid agreement among states that allows for sharing resources during natural and man-made disasters.
The Snohomish County firefighters expect to be assigned to protect homes and businesses. Their equipment is for fighting structural fires, but they’re prepared for other situations.
“Everybody who goes is trained in wildland firefighting and safety,” Hynes said.
Local crews frequently deploy to combat wildfires within Washington. Last month, local crews went to fight the Eagle Creek Fire in Oregon’s Multnomah County.
Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465; nhaglund@herald net.com. Twitter: @NWhaglund.