On July 28, 2023, the Delaware Forest Service (DFS) dispatched a Type 6 engine to Yosemite National Park in California to support local fire staff during the peak of their fire season. DFS Engine 612 remained on assignment for 66 days, returning on October 1, 2023. The deployment included four crew swaps requiring 10 different firefighters. Type 6 engines are staffed with three firefighters: a captain, an operator and a firefighter, and usually deploy for two weeks per crew assignment.

During the two-plus months spent in the park, the crews boosted staffing in Wawona, California, a small town just inside the southern park boundary. Daily activities included patrol, project work (fire related prep-work such as thinning underbrush, pre-installation of firebreaks, etc.), training and readiness drills, maintenance and repair of equipment and facilities, and remaining ready for initial attack. E612 participated in a handful of initial attack fires (lightning and human caused), assisted with multiple search and rescue and a variety of other operations. Interested in joining the DWE program, contact Sam Topper at sam.topper@delaware.gov.

– Submitted by Sam Topper, DFS, WFP