CALFIRE plans socially-distanced base camps for wildfire crews


FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) — The camps that feed and shelter firefighters working large wildfires are changing in order to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The close proximity of personnel and sharing of resources are typical at these camps as hundreds of firefighters from around the region are sent to a remote area at a moment’s notice.

Setup of each camp is different based on needs and available resources.

Typically, firefighters take turns sleeping in bunks inside air-conditioned semi trailers.

CALFIRE battalion chief Seth Brown says large tents must be used instead, “We’re reaching out to those vendors letting them know we potentially need these sleeping tents and extra logistical trailers.”

Trucks provide sinks and showers.  Meals are cooked and served around the clock at some camps while different crews are constantly leaving and returning.

Brown says, “The food serving area is going to be larger. And the area that firefighters get supplies will be larger.”

There are also plans to use multiple camps instead of one.  “We may split them up in close proximity and have two concurrent fire camps doing the same thing allowing us to social distance those firefighters.”

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