Local fire personnel returned Sunday after being gone 10 days to battle the Woolsey fire near Malibu in southern California.

The group of about 20 in the Washington Tactical Team 2 included three members of Walla Walla County Fire District 4, one from Walla Walla Fire Department, one from Walla Walla County Fire District 7, three from Walla Walla County Fire District 8, and four from College Place Fire Department.

Four from Benton County Fire District 1, a Strike Team Leader from Chelan County Fire District 1 and Stevens County Fire District 1 also were among the group.

“The amount of destruction and how the fires changed the lives of so many people was unbelievable,” Fire District 8 Chief Bob Clendaniel said in a text to the U-B Sunday. “We are happy we could do our part. We also received some excellent knowledge and experience.”

More than 3,000 fire personnel battled the blaze, which is now 94 percent contained, according to the Cal Fire website this morning. Three firefighters have been injured, and three civilians have died in the 96,949 acre-blaze. About 1,500 structures have been destroyed, and 341 have been damaged, according to the website. About 1,000 personnel remain on scene.


Emily Thornton can be reached at emilythornton@wwub.com or 509-526-8325.

Emily Thornton covers courts and emergency services, as well as other various stories. She has been in the newspaper industry off and on since roughly 1999 and lived primarily on the West Coast, but also Florida and Europe.