WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah, July 18, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — 41 Utah firefighters from nine different agencies are set to leave for Oregon Sunday to join the fight against a growing number of wildfires.
They will be joining more than 5,000 other firefighters from all over the country who are fighting at least 5 large wildfires including the monstrous Bootleg Fire. At more than 290,000 acres, the Bootleg fire is bigger than Davis County and spreading at a rate of about 4 miles per day. The fire is so intense that it is creating its own thunderstorms with lightning capable of starting even more fires. It is the largest fire in the nation and just 22% contained as of Saturday night.
It’s not yet known if the two Utah task forces will be sent to the Bootleg fire or one of the others. According to a news release, the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) Deployment will be sent first to Bend, Oregon and move on to its assigned fire from there.
The task forces are made up of firefighters and engines from the Unified Fire Authority, Draper, Murray, West Valley City, Park City, Lone Peak, Weber, Layton, and Orem Fire Departments.
EMAC is an interstate mutual aid system designed for situations like Oregon and other western states are experiencing with their wildfires.
According to the news release sent to Gephardt Daily, “Utah stands ready, willing, and able to help a state in need, and EMAC is a great system for doing that.”
The firefighters are scheduled to leave from West Valley City Sunday morning and arrive in Bend on Monday.
The deployment is scheduled to last 16 days.