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Helena deploying resources and personnel to California fires
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Helena deploying resources and personnel to California fires

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Flames lick above vehicles on Highway 162 as the Bear Fire burns in Oroville, Calif., on Wednesday, Sept. 9. The Helena Fire Department will deploy a wildland engine and crew of three to California this week, according to a city news release. Capt. Brandt Buresh, Lt. Matt Welch, and firefighter David Maslowski are the Helena firefighters answering the call for help.

The Helena Fire Department will deploy a wildland engine and crew of three to California this week, according to a city news release.

Capt. Brandt Buresh, Lt. Matt Welch and firefighter David Maslowski are the Helena firefighters answering the call for help.

The request for the additional support came from Montana Disaster and Emergency Services through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact.

"Not unlike the many local mutual-aid agreements that the Helena Fire department has in place, EMAC is an all hazards - all disciplines, mutual aid compact that serves as the cornerstone of the nation's mutual aid system," the news release sent Thursday afternoon stated.

“Sending resources to assist our neighbors in California is not unlike assisting our neighbors locally,” Fire Chief Ken Wood said. “It is very common for firefighting resources from California to be deployed to regions in Montana when there is need. When possible, we feel it is important to reciprocate and show our support when they are in need.”

According to the news release, the crew from Helena will be assigned to South Operations of California and will be part of two task forces en route from Montana.

Their exact assignment location is yet to be determined but will be based on specific needs within the area of operations.

The assignment will last two weeks not including travel and quarantine upon return.

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Local Government and Crime Reporter

Nolan Lister is a reporter at the Helena Independent Record with an emphasis on local government and crime.

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