“Fires went really well,” SAFD engine boss and driver Jade Hughes said. “It was a little chaotic at first, but we adjusted to the steep terrain and the large trees that were dead and burning and whenever we finally got adjusted to that, it went really well.”
There were several strike teams from Texas that helped fight the raging “Creek Fire” northeast of Fresno. This wasn’t the first time a San Angelo fire crew has deployed to help fight fires in California. Part of the TIFMAS program, the department sent a crew to battle the Woolsey Fire back in 2018.
“It was controlled chaos,” Hughes said. “Everything was blowing up whenever we first got there, but it got a little better. There was very bad air quality, very fixed smoke, where you couldn’t see very far.”
Hughes says the crew and strike teams did their very best to help mitigate the situation. The California crews appreciated the assistance from Texas fire departments. With San Angelo’s second trip to California in two years, their reputation with the west coast has increased tremendously.
“Thank you San Angelo,” Hughes said. “Thank you to the community, our families, the city manager, mayor, and the governor for allowing us the opportunity to go represent our city of San Angelo, and to try to be a good representation of what a small town in Texas can do.”