Local Firefighter Joins DE Crews Out West

Responding to a spike in wildfire activity in the West that increased the National Fire Preparedness Level to 4 on a 5-point scale, Delaware joined forces with neighboring Mid-Atlantic states to dispatch a module of five crews, a total of 100 firefighters, to battle fires for the Great Basin’s Geographic Area Coordination Center. Allen Austin Gardner-Bowler of Milford departed Harrisburg, PA this summer, with the Delaware wild land fire crews, flying to Salt Lake City, Utah to join neighboring states.

“It was not what I expected, some days were extremely hot and we walked for miles while other days it was raining and 40 degrees out,” said, Gardner-Bowler. “It was extremely vigorous and physically demanding and there was very much a mental aspect to it.”

The Pioneer Fire in Idaho alone scorched more than 100,000 acres and was only 38 percent contained when Delaware crews arrived. More than 1,800 fire personnel were battling the fire that had already cost more than $66 million. Gardner-Bowler is a forth generation member of the Carlisle Fire Company in Milford, DE. His family’s commitment to community service is what drove him to join the department in 2012.

“It is important to me that those that can serve, help those that cannot do for themselves,” he said. “It was an opportunity to do something new and exciting while helping others in need.”

In Idaho, the Delaware Wildland Fire Crew completed fire suppression tactics and was a part of the Type II attack crew. They were given a division of the larger fire and were responsible for making sure that there were no hot spots on top or underground that could add more fuel to the spreading fire. Austin states that the duality of his surroundings was something he did not expect.

 

DDA Forest Service News

Picture 16 of 17

 

“Even with the destruction of the wildlife around us, there was so much beauty there,” said Gardner-Bowler. “It forced me out of my comfort zone and was eyeopening to see how wildfires are battled on the ground level.”

Gardner-Bowler hopes that he can take some of the fire suppression tactics learned in the field back to Carlisle Fire Company. Although the strategy of containing and suppressing a structure fire is different, Austin believes that the information will be useful when the company fights brush fires in Delaware.

Gardner-Bowler was out West for a total of 18 days. A second crew from Delaware was dispatched to Colorado . They battled the 492-acre Milk Fire near Craig, Colorado and the 1,287-acre Tokewanna Fire near Mountain View, Wyoming. They finished up on the 12,276-acre Whit Fire, east of Yellowstone National Park near Cody, Wyoming.

The Delaware Forest Service is seeking qualified and motivated candidates for its wildfire training classes at the Delaware State Fire School. Applicants should be at least 18 years of age, physically and mentally fit, motivated to learn and willing and able to travel for up to two weeks or more, usually during the summer months, for out-of-state fire assignments. Previous firefighting experience is not required. For more information individuals interested can contact Kyle Hoyd, DFS Wildland Fire Program, by phone at 302-698-4548  or email at kyle.hoyd@state.de.us.

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 7.24.15 AM

Sign up for you free digital subscription of The Weekly Review, delivered directly to your email every Tuesday morning. A quick cover-to-cover read to catch up on the news of the week and experience great stories about our local communities. Sign up for your free email subscription below.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest News

Mitchell named First Team All-Conference

The Milford Cross Country Teams had a solid performance at the Conference Championships. Milford Girls finished 3rd place out...

Delaware’s new COVID-19 cases nearing 500 a day

To help avoid stressing the system, the Division of Public Health recommends only eating or spending time with people inside your own home.

Georgetown woman’s children’s book focuses on enduring nature of love

'Kisses on The Wind' follows best friends Sequoia and Mohee, who grow up together exploring nature in their village and then are divided by war.

MHS Girls XC – 2020 Kent co Champs

The Milford High School Girls Cross Country Team prevailed as the 2020 Kent County Champions. Milford placed 5 Girls on the All Kent County...

State should get some COVID-19 vaccine about Dec. 11

'We all wish it were tomorrow,' Dr. Karyl Rattay said, 'but we’re anticipating that we’ll have adequate vaccine for the general population around March.'

Must Read

Mitchell named First Team All-Conference

The Milford Cross Country Teams had a solid performance at the Conference Championships. Milford Girls finished 3rd place out...

Delaware’s new COVID-19 cases nearing 500 a day

To help avoid stressing the system, the Division of Public Health recommends only eating or spending time with people inside your own home.

Georgetown woman’s children’s book focuses on enduring nature of love

'Kisses on The Wind' follows best friends Sequoia and Mohee, who grow up together exploring nature in their village and then are divided by war.
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

More Articles Like This

- Advertisement -
%d bloggers like this: