Delaware sending wildfire crew to Utah in response to large fires in West

Contact: John Petersen, Delaware Forest Service Community Relations Officer
(302) 233-8180 – cell

Click here for photo album from DES#2 – Fire crew mobilization at Blackbird State Forest on Sunday, August 11.

Delaware Forest Service wildfire crew
After battling a wildfire in Alaska in July, the Delaware Forest Service has again fielded a 20-person volunteer crew, now headed to Utah to await assignment to a fire in that region.
Back row (from left) are: Samual L. Topper of Federalsburg, MD; Monica Testa of Wilmington; Michael Krumrine of Magnolia; Scott A. Veasey of Millsboro; Guy W. Cooper of Millville; Tyler S. Torres of Smyrna; Jonathan E. Stave of Newark; Brian K. Ward Jeffrey A. Wilson of Clayton; Todd W. Shaffer of Atglen, PA; Front row (from left) Luke S. Terrell of Salisbury, MD; Kyle M. Kokoszka of Middletown; Todd Gsell of Townsend; William K. Ruark of Towson, MD; Brian P. Keszler of Middletown; Robert S. Baldwin of Chestertown, MD; Bartholomew D. Wilson of Dover; Matthew Chamberlain of Newark; Michael D. Hyde of Havre de Grace, MD; Michael A. Valenti of Dover.


In response to increased fire activity in the West, the Delaware Forest Service is sending a 20-person crew of wildland firefighters to Utah.  The crew will be “pre-positioned” there before its likely assignment to a fire in the Eastern Great Basin region. This is the second crew that Delaware has dispatched this summer – the first team was sent to battle an 85,000-acre blaze near North Pole, Alaska in July.

The 20-person team departed at approximately 3 p.m. on Sunday, August 11, from Blackbird State Forest, 502 Blackbird Forest Road, Smyrna, DE, 19977. They will be boarding a flight to Salt Lake City, Utah from Harrisburg, PA on the morning of Monday, August 12.

The National Interagency Fire Center in Boise Idaho ( has increased its National Preparedness Level to 4 on a 5-point scale, in response to the fact that “36 wildfires are burning in eight western states and Alaska and nine new large fires have been reported in Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Wyoming.”

Kyle M. Kokoszka, a volunteer firefighter from Middletown, packs his gear for the trip out West.
Kyle M. Kokoszka, a volunteer firefighter from Middletown, packs his gear for the trip out West.

Wildfire Crew Members and Hometowns:

 *Crew Boss

Samual L. Topper* Federalsburg, MD
Monica Testa Wilmington
Michael Krumrine Magnolia
Scott A. Veasey Millsboro
Guy W. Cooper Millville
Tyler S. Torres Smyrna
Jonathan E. Stave Newark
Brian K. Ward Houston
Jeffrey A. Wilson Clayton
Todd W. Shaffer Atglen, PA
Luke Spencer Terrell Salisbury, MD
Kyle M. Kokoszka Middletown
Todd Gsell Townsend
William Keegan Ruark Towson, MD
Brian P. Keszler Middletown
Robert S. Baldwin Chestertown, MD
Bartholomew D. Wilson Dover
Matthew Chamberlain Newark
Michael Davis Hyde Havre de Grace, MD
Michael A. Valenti Dover

A Preparedness Level IV is triggered under the following conditions:

  • Three or more Geographic Areas are experiencing incidents requiring Type 1 and 2 IMTs.
  • Competition exists between Geographic Areas.
  • Nationally, 60 percent of Type 1 and 2 IMTs and crews are committed.