Belmont firefighters are assisting in the efforts to protect structures from the Rim Fire currently burning in the Stanislaus National Forest, Capt. Pat Halleran of the Belmont Police Department confirmed Monday.
Halleran said the Belmont engine and crew of four, part of the South County Strike Team, have been assigned to structure protection in the town of Twain Harte, located about 80 miles northwest of Yosemite National Park in Tuolumne County.
Deployed on Friday evening, the three Strike Teams from San Mateo County (North and South County) and Central County—are helping battle the wild fire that has grown to 150,000 acres by Monday. Fire officials say they could be in the fire zone for up to a week.
Halleran explained that a strike team is made up of five engines with four-person crews and a Chief Officer (Strike Team Leader). Belmont Fire has one engine and crew assigned to the South County strike team:
South San Mateo County Strike Team – Rim Fire
1 Chief Officer - San Mateo/Foster City/Belmont Fire Joint Command Staff
1 Engine – Belmont Fire
1 Engine – San Mateo County Fire
1 Engine – Woodside Fire
2 Engines – Redwood City Fire
More than 2,500 firefighters have been deployed to battle the Rim Fire that still threatens more than 4,500 homes and continues to grow since it started Aug. 17.
The fire remains only 15 percent contained and has burned the Berkeley Tuolumne Family Camp, according to forest service spokesman Dick Fleishman.
The fire has damaged San Francisco power and utility lines in the area and threatens the Hetch Hetchy reservoir, which supplies water to much of the Bay Area including the Peninsula, utility officials warn.
The Rim Fire has become California's 13th largest blaze in the state's recorded history, Cal Fire said.