Orange County Fire Authority Assists in Northern California Fire Crisis

By Vanessa Serna
Vanessa Serna
Vanessa Serna
Vanessa Serna is a California-based daily news reporter for The Epoch Times.
September 1, 2021 Updated: September 2, 2021

The Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) continues to assist in Northern California as the fires persist, causing local hospitals and all national forests to temporarily close.

Five fire engines, a helicopter, and 22 firefighter personnel are stationed fighting the Dixie Fire, which is 52 percent contained as of Sept. 1. Other command positions from the OCFA are assisting behind the scenes to support the blazes up north.

“We have people at the French fire, Caldor fire, Dixie fire, [and the] McFarland fire,” OCFA spokesman Sean Doran told The Epoch Times. “People have been in and out of those fires that are all over the state.”

Every 14 days, the crew up north rotates with another OCFA crew and is expected to continue until their resources are no longer needed, Doran said.

As of Sept. 1, the Dixie and Caldor fires are the largest blazes in the state, burning over 1 million acres combined.

With the Caldor fire nearly 20 percent contained and progressing toward the Lake Tahoe basin, medical offices have been ordered to close, including Barton Health.

“Barton Memorial Hospital patients have been transferred to regional partner facilities and their families have been notified,” Barton Health said in a Sept. 1 statement.

The medical offices are scheduled to remain closed until at least Sept. 3 as evacuation warnings are continuing in El Dorado, Douglas, Alpine, and Amador County.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service ordered all national forests in California to temporarily close until Sept. 17.

“We do not take this decision lightly but this is the best choice for public safety,” Regional Forester Jennifer Eberlien said in an Aug. 30 statement. “It is especially hard with the approaching Labor Day weekend when so many people enjoy our national forests.”

The national forest closures will limit the chances of a new potential fire while protecting visitors from becoming entrapped during emergency circumstances.

Vanessa Serna is a California-based daily news reporter for The Epoch Times.