Local firefighters help out in Maui

Nine members of the Petaluma Fire Department are providing support in damaged areas of Hawaii and California.|

Personnel with the Petaluma Fire Department are being deployed to help in relief efforts across California and in Maui, following a week of storms and fires that have left communities devastated.

In a statement, Chief Jeff Schach and other department officials said nine Petaluma Fire Department employees are headed out to support areas affected by recent fires and by Tropical Storm Hilary.

“Petaluma Fire is proud of these individuals and the entire team for their readiness and determination to serve the communities in need,” Schach said. “The department stands united in supporting them and expresses gratitude to their families for their sacrifices to keep our communities safe.”

The Petaluma Fire Department remains fully staffed and ready to respond to local emergencies, Schach said.

Assistant Fire Chief Chad Costa was among those going to help, and was deployed with Cal Fire to help recovery efforts in Lahaina, a historic town in Maui that was destroyed by a deadly wind-driven wildfire on Aug. 8.

“Assistant Chief Costa brings a wealth of knowledge and experience, and his presence will greatly contribute to the organization and recovery of the Lahaina, Maui, disaster,” the department said.

Meanwhile, Capt. Jim Gloeckner, engineer Kurt Jones and firefighter and paramedic Brett Irons have been deployed to the Deep Fire, which has burned more than 3,500 acres in Shasta-Trinity National Forest. The crew is working to contain the fire and protect the surrounding areas north of Weaverville.

Also, firefighter and paramedic Jared Kirby has been deployed to Kern County, where he will aid the response to any potential water-related hazards resulting from the storm in Southern California.

And Capt. Greg Taylor, engineer and paramedic Shay Burke, and firefighters and paramedics Logan Davenport and Corey McCormack have been deployed to defend structures in Gasquet, a town in California threatened by the Smith River Complex fires that are burning about seven miles to its northeast. Those fires have already burned more than 22,000 acres and have prompted evacuation orders throughout Del Norte County.

“Western states are really good at sharing resources, depending on where that surge is needed, and we’re happy and proud to be a part of that,” Schach said in a phone call Monday.

Emergency vehicles used in response efforts are owned and funded by the State of California and Office of Emergency Services.

Amelia Richardson is a staff writer for the Argus-Courier. She can be reached at amelia.parreira@arguscourier.com or 707-521-5208.

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