4 Cedar City firefighters spent 2 weeks helping battle massive Dixie Fire in Northern California

Cedar City Fire Department firefighters (L-R) Travis Fails, Blake Fails, Stephen Williams and Garrett Garces helped fight the massive Dixie Fire in northern California in August 2021 | Photo courtesy of Cedar City Fire Department, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — A crew of four firefighters from Cedar City recently spent two weeks helping battle the massive Dixie Fire in Northern California.

Frefighters battle the Dixie Fire in Northern California, August 2021 | Photo courtesy of Cal Fire, St. George News / Cedar City News

The local contingent returned home on Wednesday. They were among the many out-of-state firefighters who have been deployed to fight the forest fire, which has consumed nearly 750,000 acres since it started on July 13. 

Cedar City Fire Department engine boss Travis Fails was joined by firefighters Garret Garces, Stephen Williams and Blake Fails in making the trip to California. The four were assigned to a larger crew called Task Force 1, working 24-hour shifts at a time, on alternating days.

On Friday, Cedar City Fire Chief Mike Phillips provided photos taken during the crew’s deployment to Cedar City News, courtesy of California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, known as Cal Fire. 

The still-active fire, which is the largest single fire in California’s history is listed as being 45% contained, according to the latest update posted Thursday evening by Cal Fire and multiple other partner agencies. Its cause is undetermined and under investigation; it started in the Feather River Canyon area in the forests north of Sacramento.

According to Thursday’s incident fact sheet, the fire has destroyed hundreds of structures, including nearly 700 residences and more than 140 commercial buildings. Thousands of other structures are threatened, and many people have had to evacuate their homes. 

No lives have been lost, and reported injuries have been limited to three, all first responders.

Approximately 4,750 fire personnel are currently assigned to the incident, officials said. The substantial assistance provided by out-of-state firefighters is facilitated, supported and funded through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, a national interstate mutual aid agreement that enables states to share resources during times of disaster.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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