Rim Crews Battling California Wildfires


Heeding a call for help, 11 firefighters from the Rim country are on their way to help battle the blazes consuming Southern California.

Monday night, the Payson Fire Department sent Engine 121 to the San Diego area with four of its men: Captain/Paramedic Gary Vohs, Capt. IEMT Sam Mays, Firefighter EMT Rick Winton and Firefighter Paramedic Rhett Connolly, Battalion Chief Tom Barker said.

The Pine-Strawberry Fire District sent three men and a brush truck to California last Wednesday, Oct. 22. Capt. Bob Lashua, Engineer Mark Boys and Firefighter Joel Brandt will probably be in the fight for their full two-week tour, said fellow PSFD fireman Capt. Robert McCormick.

"They thought they might not be gone that long, but the way the winds are picking up, they probably will be there the whole time," McCormick said.

After the two-week period, they will get a couple days off and if need be, another group will be sent to take their places.

The Diamond Star Fire District sent their new truck to California with a crew of five. Capt. Rick Heron said they were expected to go to San Bernardino, but may be diverted to San Diego.

Heron said the DSFD sent three of its men, Lt. Cris Lecher, and firefighters Brian Stultz and Matt Highstreet. It was a multi-agency response, with Payson's Sam Garcia and Houston Mesa Fire Department's Jon Enos going along to fill out the crew, Heron said.

The DSFD multi-agency team left Oct. 26.

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