September 10, 2020
On August 20th, Idaho’s Task Force One was deployed to assist California fighting wild fires in the Northern part of the state. Task Force One is made up of crews from Kuna, Nampa, Parma and Sandhollow. Through the Idaho Department of Lands an EMAC (Emergency Management Assistance Compact) request was sent out from California, an Idaho Task Force group was set up and sent out. The deployment was initially set up to be a 14 day deployment. Since the initial request, the Task Force has been extended for an additional 7 days and beginning Saturday September 12th, they will be extended another 14 days. It’s exciting to get reports back from Cal Fire that our crews are doing exceptionally well and are getting high praise for their efforts. The Task Force is working 12 hour shifts, 7 days a week. They will get their first 2 days off Friday and Saturday and be back on the fire line again on Sunday morning, starting their third extended deployment for the next 14 days. The total of the this deployment will be 35 days on scene without travel days to and from.
These types of deployments are very beneficial in the fact that all costs our reimbursed back to each responding district/department and the apparatus used while deployed is reimbursed at an hourly rate back to each district/department while deployed. EMAC deployment covers the cost of all overtime for the members deployed and for each department to cover any overtime costs to back fill positions that are deployed. This ensures each department is fully staffed while the members are away on deployment. So for any department, the deployment will bring in funds that can help subsidize their departments budgets. One of the major benefits of wildland deployments, is the valuable training and experience that comes back to us from our firefighters. With the magnitude of these fires and the amount of resources it takes to combat them, it would take years for us to get the experience that our firefighters are currently receiving. Of course we do not wish any of the these events to be happening and we are very sorry for the loss and devastation that wild fires are causing throughout the country right now.
Finally our thoughts and prayers are with each of these firefighters and the communities that are being affected. We will be happy for their safe return.