Kitsap firefighters end 24-hour shift, will stay in California for weeks

“They finished this morning,” spokesperson Michele Laboda said. “Now they’re resting.”

A team of local firefighters dispatched to Southern California to battle historic wildfires ended a 24-hour shift on Tuesday morning, spokesperson Michele Laboda said. The shift began at 7 a.m. Monday.

“Now they’re resting,” she said.

A joint unit known as a ‘strike team’ left Kitsap County on Saturday to help contain the Woolsey Fire in Southern California. The fire west of Los Angeles has burned more than 150 square miles, an area about twice the size of Seattle, killing two and destroying about 435 structures, according to media reports.

Firefighters from every local department including North, Central and South Kitsap, Bremerton and Gig Harbor were dispatched along with fire engines and other equipment.

The team has aided local and regional departments by patrolling the area and “mopping up hotspots,” smoldering areas that can threaten to reignite the fire, CKFR spokesperson Ileana LiMarzi said.

The group is led by Lt. Alex Hickey of North Kitsap Fire and Rescue. They plan to remain in California for about two weeks, Laboda said.

The wildfires ravaging California have become the deadliest in state history. The ‘Camp Fire’ in Northern California has killed 42 as of Tuesday, with about 200 people still missing, the New York Times reported. More than 7,600 structures have been destroyed, most of them homes.

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