Local firefighters return from helping in CA - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Local firefighters return from helping in CA

Posted: Updated:

PENDLETON, OR - The Oregon Strike Team returned home from helping fight the California wildfires this week.

All three of the firefighters from Pendleton Fire and Ambulance describe their time in California as an experience of a lifetime. They were there for ten days, but they say the lessons they learned, will last forever.

"We left late Friday night and that's when the adventure started," said Jaclyn Berentsen, a firefighter and paramedic.

The firefighters were helping save structures from the Bear Fire near Boulder Creek. Fighting a fire is of course a challenge in itself, but our crews had the added challenge of having to adapt to a new environment.

"The vegetation, the fuel load that they have down there as well as type of topography," Berentsen said.

While firefighters from California have journeyed north to help with Oregon fires, it's not too often that our local team gets to return the favor.

"It was a privilege for us to be able to go down and assist in any way we could."

But, we can't forget our guys back home who had to hold down the fort.

"While we were gone, our 24-hour shifts had to be covered," explained Berentsen, "so there was a lot of people who were on 48-hour shifts or longer just so we could go down there and help them."

One thing Berentsen took away from her first deployment...

"Truly it was an experience of a lifetime."

Our strike team was fighting alongside 73 other firefighters from around the region. They helped save two structures the first day they were there, but unfortunately four others were damaged.

As of today, the Bear Fire is 95 percent contained.

HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Tri-CitiesTri-Cities NewsMore>>

  • 9th annual Tri-Cities Geocoin Challenge

    9th annual Tri-Cities Geocoin Challenge

    Monday, June 18 2018 8:28 PM EDT2018-06-19 00:28:14 GMT

    The 9th annual Tri-Cities Geocoin Challenge begins Thursday, June 21 through June 24.  

    More >>

    The 9th annual Tri-Cities Geocoin Challenge begins Thursday, June 21 through June 24.  

    More >>
  • Odors reported in 242-A pump storage room

    Odors reported in 242-A pump storage room

    Monday, June 18 2018 6:16 PM EDT2018-06-18 22:16:22 GMT

    Two Hanford workers were released back to work after undergoing medical evaluation Friday for odors reported in the 242-A pump storage room airlock. 

    More >>

    Two Hanford workers were released back to work after undergoing medical evaluation Friday for odors reported in the 242-A pump storage room airlock. 

    More >>
  • Sheriff's deputies looking for Hermiston Comfort Inn & Suites robber

    Sheriff's deputies looking for Hermiston Comfort Inn & Suites robber

    Monday, June 18 2018 4:04 PM EDT2018-06-18 20:04:22 GMT

    On Sunday, June 17 at about 1:27 a.m., the Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a robbery that had just happened at the Comfort Inn & Suites in Hermiston. 

    More >>

    On Sunday, June 17 at about 1:27 a.m., the Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a robbery that had just happened at the Comfort Inn & Suites in Hermiston. 

    More >>