Local Firefighters on Scene at Chiwakum Fire Near Leavenworth - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Local Firefighters on Scene at Chiwakum Fire Near Leavenworth

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 PASCO, WA - A team of local firefighters are on the fire lines in Leavenworth. Five engines and 14 crew members are helping protect buildings at the Chiwakum Creek Fire. This is the third time a local strike team has been called out to fires across the state this season.

The crew out right now is made up of people from local agencies. They go with just a sleeping bag, tent and a change of clothes and hit the road within two hours of a call out.

The team takes givewild landd engines, including a water tender. Most of those are from the fire departments in the Tri-Cities but one, their largest truck, is from Whitman County where Pullman is.

The team reported to the fire lines in Leavenworth Thursday morning and are working to protect buildings there.

"They're cleaning up around structures, making sure that if the fire does change directions, the wind changes the fire's direction - those houses are safe. Cleaning up debris, removing wood piles, making sure they're prepped for a worst case scenario," said Franklin County Fire District #3 Chief Mike Harris.

This is all part of a state mobilization fire plan under the Washington State Patrol. The Governor frees up money for firefighting and reimburses the local agencies for the firefighters' pay and wear and tear on the fire trucks.

The team in Leavenworth could return by Sunday or they could get reassigned to other fires in the state.