Delaware’s three-person Type 6 engine crew is now fighting the 2,000-acre Dexter Fire in the Inyo National Forest of southern California. Reported on July 12, the lightning-caused blaze is actively burning in brush and timber with only 13 percent containment. Leading the crew is the Delaware Forest Service’s southern regional forester and engine boss Erich Burkentine of Milton, along with engine boss trainee Nikki Testa of Newark, and firefighter Hunter Melson of Milford. The crew mobilized on July 13 and is scheduled for a 21-day assignment. Delaware’s crew is facing high temperatures, low relative humidity, and gusty afternoon winds on the Dexter Fire as they are conducting initial attack, digging fire line, and felling trees.
Delaware’s Type 6 engine and three-man crew are part of 313 personnel currently fighting the Oil Springs Fire, located 20 miles south of Rangely, Colorado. The fire was started by lightning on June 18 and has grown to 12, 613 acres with only 18 percent containment. Delaware’s crew is working on one of the fire’s priority areas, Division D, which involves the continued protection of the Dragon Trail Compressor Site. The fire is spreading moderately in a mixture of pinyon, juniper and sagebrush.
Delaware’s crew is comprised of engine boss Samual Topper of Maryland, engine boss trainee Adam Keever of Newark, and FFT2 Bradley Melson of Milford. The crew mobilized from Blackbird State Forest last week and started work on Saturday, June 26.