Lubbock Fire & Rescue crew shares experience battling fires in C - FOX34 Lubbock

Lubbock Fire & Rescue crew shares experience battling fires in California

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

The wild fire season has become so extreme in California that the state has requested back up not only nationally, but internationally. A fire crew from Lubbock just back from a deployment there, after battling the flames for more than two weeks.

Battalion Chief Lee Jones, whose been a part of Lubbock Fire & Rescue for 17 years and whom also directs the Texas Interstate Fire Mutual Aid System TIFMAS for the Panhandle and the South Plains region traveled to California with three other fire fighters at the beginning of the month. He said once TIFMAS received the request it began coordinating five strike teams. The governor signed off allowing teams to deploy, the process took about six days. 

"This was the first time the state of Texas had ever sent TIFMAS resources out of the state," said Jones. "So there are a lot of logistics to work through, you know it is one of those first time deals that have never been done before." 

The Lubbock crew was stationed at the Anderson Base Camp to help fight the Carr fire. Jones said they were assigned to specific division of the fire, not knowing where they were going to be. The first two days they were working 24 hour shifts soon after they worked 12 hour shifts sun up to sun down.

"Each division they had different tasks depending on what part of the fire it was in, cold chilling the fire making sure it is all out within five hundred feet one day," said Jones. "The next day maybe cleaning up a line that you still had active fire on it just depended on the daily assignment." 

Jones said by the time they started working on the fire most of it had been put out, while combating the fire his team worked alongside other crews from across the country and even internationally. He said he learned a thing or two and the experience will stick with him. 

"The landscape is just a lot different there and anytime you can see stuff  your not use to and get a chance to work through it for a couple of weeks then the next time you see it your better prepared to deal with it," said Jones. "We are always preparing to deal with the unknown."

Cal fire warns it will likely be September before it fully contains the Mendecino Complex Fire. It's the largest in the state's history already scorching an area the size of Los Angeles.

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