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>>

  • Kennewick Police searching for people who burglarized and trashed a food truck

    Kennewick Police searching for people who burglarized and trashed a food truck

    Tuesday, September 18 2018 12:12 PM EDT2018-09-18 16:12:44 GMT

    Kennewick Police are investigating a burglary at Taco Zone where they took items and vandalized it, cutting wires and damaging appliances.

    More >>

    Kennewick Police are investigating a burglary at Taco Zone where they took items and vandalized it, cutting wires and damaging appliances.

    More >>
  • Former Chiawana security guard formally charged with sexual misconduct

    Former Chiawana security guard formally charged with sexual misconduct

    Monday, September 17 2018 10:56 PM EDT2018-09-18 02:56:55 GMT

    Two men who were previously employed with the Pasco School District are currently suspects in separate allegations of Sexual Misconduct with a Minor in the First Degree. 

    More >>

    Two men who were previously employed with the Pasco School District are currently suspects in separate allegations of Sexual Misconduct with a Minor in the First Degree. 

    More >>
  • Armed person shot by police after refusing to obey commands

    Armed person shot by police after refusing to obey commands

    Monday, September 17 2018 7:25 PM EDT2018-09-17 23:25:20 GMT

    The deceased subject was identified as Christopher Adam Borland, age 40 of Walla Walla

    More >>

    The deceased subject was identified as Christopher Adam Borland, age 40 of Walla Walla

    More >>