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Palm Coast Wednesday, Mar. 9, 2022 3 months ago

Palm Coast, Flagler County firefighters deploy to Bay County wildfires

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The firefighters' deployment is expected to last five days.
by: Jonathan Simmons Senior Editor

Palm Coast firefighters deployed on March 7 to help suppress wildfires in Bay County. 

“Yesterday at 12 o'clock, we were asked to assemble a crew and deploy in three hours,” Fire Chief Jerry Forte told the Palm Coast City Council at a March 8 workshop. “Part of our response is, we come to work for one day, but you expect to stay for 14.”

Four Palm Coast firefighters readied a city fire engine and at 3 p.m. joined two Flagler County firefighters and their tanker to meet up with other firefighters and head north to Tallahassee, then out to the Chipola Complex wildfires.

“They are on the front line right now, getting deployed to help fight fire,” Forte said. 

The fires are in a region struck by Hurricane Michael in 2018, where downed timber left from the storm have complicated firefighting efforts, according to a city of Palm Coast news release. 

Assisting is a significant event for Palm Coast, Forte said: 22 years ago, the city had had just three engines to fight a 10,000-acre fire here. 

“When you don't have somebody to show up, it makes a world of difference,” Forte said. “And we as a department swore that we will never let anybody have that feeling again, and when called, we will go.”

 The firefighters’ deployment will probably last five days, he said. 

“Please, in this time, keep them in your thoughts and prayers, and let’s hope they do a great job and come back safe,” Forte said.

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