Overcoming the Wall Fire: Grass Valley firefighters assist in the fight
- Small Animal Shelter: Del Oro Ave. “Old County Hospital”, Oroville, CA
- Large Animal Shelter: Camelot on Clark Road in Butte Valley, CA
- Animal Rescue Helpline: (530) 895-0000
The large plumes of smoke have cleared above Butte County’s Wall Fire, some evacuation orders have been lifted, and the 5,800 acre fire is 60 percent contained.
But many evacuation orders remain in effect at some of the harder hit areas, and Cal Fire officials want to be clear that we’re not out of the woods yet.
“Just because it’s not burning actively doesn’t mean the fire is in a contained phase,” Cal Fire Public Information Officer Roy Skinner said Tuesday afternoon from the fire lines.
More than 1,600 firefighters at the Wall Fire have welcomed calmer winds and lower temperatures the past couple days.
“Now that the winds have died down, the fire has died down,” Skinner said. “Our fire intensity has dropped significantly. Currently we don’t have a lot of active portions of the fire given the current weather conditions, however, weather conditions could change.”
Included in those fighting the fire is the crew of Grass Valley’s California Office of Emergency Services Engine 334, sent early Sunday morning.
The crew of four had briefly come back to Grass Valley from fighting fires in Nevada before being called to the Wall Fire.
The fire lines were still hot when the crew arrived and their main priority was to provide structure protection.
“We cooled off the fire’s edge for 2,600 feet, all the way down to the creek bed and up a steep hill,” Grass Valley Fire Engineer Roque Barrera said.
The steep terrain was not an issue for the local crew.
“This strike team is equipped to handle familiar terrain and topography,” Grass Valley firefighter Anthony Scarafiotti said.
Both Scarafiotti and Barrera missed their wedding anniversaries to fight the Wall Fire, while Grass Valley Firefighter Mike McClain celebrated his 29th birthday alongside his fellow firefighters.
Keeping loved ones calm and informed of their situation can be quite a challenge as well, as the crew has no cell phone service in the areas of Butte County they have been working.
“They see the stuff on the news with the big flare ups and get worried,” Scarafiotti said. “It makes a difference with the crew you’re with. We all have confidence in each other.”
After taking Monday off, the local crew was back again Tuesday, this time checking on smokes and putting out hot spots.
“We’ll mop up until dark and then the engines will patrol the area and make sure there are no flare ups with the wind activity,” Grass Valley Fire Captain Robert Bundy said. “Then it’s fire watch until morning.”
The Grass Valley unit will then take today off while the Wall Fire situation is assessed and will either be kept on, re- assigned, or sent home.
To contact Multimedia Reporter Elias Funez email, firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4230.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User