Fire Prevention & Protection, Firefighting, Fireground Management

Many Work to Assist Firefighters at Fish Fire (CA)

While the Fish Fire (CA) continues to burn, the Fish Fire camp is working hard to keep the firefighters supplied with food, water and other necessities, reports

But, that’s not all the camp is doing; it is a mini-city, fully functional with everything from showers to a human resources trailer.

“There are 370 personnel assigned to this incident and about 100 of them are here at the camp,” said Kevin Bailey, public information officer for the Incident Management Team out of Arizona. “The rest are on the fire line and at a spike camp.”

The fire-fighting team for the Fish Fire is an inter-district team with personnel from California, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Missouri and Utah.

“This is a mini-city,” Bailey said. “Everything we need we bring with us.”

Because of the locality of the Fish fire, the difficulty getting to it, and the importance of preserving the National Forest and historical area, the camp needs to be fully functional in every aspect to provide personnel with as much updated and accurate information and supplies as possible.

There are anywhere between 10 to 20 flights a day leaving Fish Camp to deliver supplies and personnel to the camps located closer to the fire.

Food for the firefighters is provided by For Stars Catering.

“They actually cater movie sets,” Bailey said, showing the meal plan for that morning’s breakfast.

The caterers make three meals a day for the 370 personnel. Each meal contains 2,000 calories because the firefighters exert so many calories while battling the blazes. An average diet, in comparison, is 2,000 calories for an entire day.

“Because the fire is so remote, they are staying there (near the fire],” said Bailey. “The food is put into buckets and flown to the area where they have to hike to the drop off point to get their meals. The food has to be eaten within three hours.”

At the camp, there are trailers with individual showers for personnel, but at the fire, solar showers are flown out to them by helicopters. Solar showers are basically containers that get filled with water and allowed to warm in the sun. Later, a hose or ‘shower head’ is attached so the user can take a quick shower after the day’s work.

Aside from the dozens of tents dotting the landscape, Fish Fire camp has numerous other functioning trailers to aid in fighting the fire such as a medical office; communications office setting up internet and phone service; a human resources office; safety office; and the finance office, to name a few.

The camp has its own meteorologist as well who keeps an eye on the weather to aid in combating the fire during storms, weather changes, shifts in wind and so forth.

“It’s a huge help having our own meteorologist,” said Bailey.

There’s also the trailer where the maps are made daily, keeping track of the hottest points of the fire, the direction its taking and where the temporary camps for the firefighters are located.

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