A team of Delaware volunteer firefighters who have been battling a blaze in Utah for the past week are now headed to a new assignment: the Coin Mountain Fire in the Payette National Forest near McCall, Idaho.
Delaware state forester Michael Valenti, of Dover, who is traveling with the team, said Delaware's contingent might be one of the first crews to battle the blaze, which was just reported on August 19. The crew will be traveling over 500 miles from Utah to Idaho on August 20, and then begin its first operational period on August 21.
According to a news report from www.boiseweekly.com, "Payette National Forest fire crews reported a new wildfire Aug. 19 near Coin Mountain in the Frank Church River area of No Return Wilderness. Officials said the fire will be challenging because of dry fuels down into Big Creek."
Since it was called to duty on August 11, the team of 19 Delaware firefighters - which includes members from Smyrna, Clayton, Middletown and Townsend - has been battling the 31,000-acre Patch Springs Fire near Terra, Utah – now listed at over 71 percent contained, due in large part to the efforts of over 350 personnel who helped bring it under control. Twenty firefighters made the trip out West; however, one Delaware firefighter returned to the First State over the past weekend due to illness.
Another blaze in the same area of Idaho – the Thunder City Fire – is estimated at over 11,800 acres in size but only 15 percent contained because the difficulty of the terrain is considered "extreme."