AFD Fire Wire

Compiled by AFD Capt. Rick Murray and Dennis Evanosky

Two Alameda Fire Department (AFD) firefighters remain at the Ferguson Fire with Water Tender Two (WT-2). They are assisting in fighting the blaze burning in Mariposa County in the Merced River Canyon near Yosemite National Park. AFD Capt. Jim Colburn said that WT-2 is assisting in supplying water to many of the engines —203 at the latest count — currently fighting the blaze. “Engines typically hold between 300 and 500 gallons of water,” Colburn said.  AT-2 holds 3,000 gallons. Firefighters are working 24 hours on duty and 24 hours off. 
On Monday, July 16, WT-2 and its firefighters became part of an army — some 2,711 strong from as far away as Virginia —battling the Ferguson Fire, named for Ferguson Ridge, the site of its flashpoint. (“AFD Sends Tender to Ferguson Fire,” July 19). 
According to Cal Fire as of 6 a.m., Friday, July 20: 

  • Fifty-eight hand crews, usually consisting of 18-20 firefighters each, are on the fire’s front lines. 
  • Along with the 203 engines, firefighters are using 39 water tenders, 16 helicopters and 41 dozers to help fight the blaze.
  • The conflagration had consumed some 22,892 acres—36.7 square miles — with 7 percent containment. 
  • Full containment cannot be predicted.