Firefighters appreciate community support during Rocky Reach Fire

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WENATCHEE – Firefighters appreciate the support of the community as they continue to fight the Rocky Reach Fire.

“One of the biggest challenges for us has been the terrain,” said Tim Cawley-Murphree, the deputy incident commander. “This is steep, rocky country and it’s taken some time to work crews through that and make sure that we’re navigating it safely. There’s been some real challenges there. We’ve implemented some newer technology with using the agency-owned drone to do some reconnaissance and it’s a pretty neat tool that we’ve been able to implement to help keep folks safe and implement solid tactics on the fire.”

With temperatures soaring and lack of shade on the mountain it is easy for firefighting crews to become dehydrated. Though it slows production, crew members take frequent water breaks.

Though fires often start from lightening or fireworks, they can also start on the roadside from vehicles. Unsecured trailer trains dragging along the ground, blown tires and bad wheel bearings can cause fires. It is important to make sure that vehicles and trailers are in good shape and properly secured before hitting the road.

Community members have been showing their support to the firefighters by bringing them baked goods and notes.

“Just yesterday we had some young gentlemen that were 12 or so come in and they brought us some cookies and the Girl Scouts came by and dropped off some cookies and those are always hugely appreciated by the firefighters,” said Cawley-Murphree. “I’ve been on some fires, the Table Mountain Fire in Ellensburg, we had some school kids that had put together little cards and they were handwritten cards and we had cards for almost everybody on that fire the next day. And that meant a lot to people after a long summer, a lot of work, to hear that thanks from the community. It really means a lot to them.”

Community members can also show support by abiding by speed limit laws, slowing down near fire areas, practicing good fire safety, respecting restricted areas and educating themselves on fire laws before going camping.