Vehicle wrecks, rescues contribute to firefighters’ busy Friday |

Vehicle wrecks, rescues contribute to firefighters’ busy Friday

The last full Friday of summer turned out to be a busy one for East Fork firefighters, capped off with rescuers climbing down to help a motorist over the side in Alpine County.

According to the California Highway Patrol, a motorist was injured when he went off the road near Crystal Springs. The driver drifted off one side of the road and overcorrected at about 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Battalion Chief Troy Valenzuela said crews had to extricate the driver and haul him up the hill to the ambulance.

Valenzuela said district personnel experienced a 40-percent increase in calls compared to average.

East Fork firefighters and medics responded to 34 calls on Friday, 14 more than the daily average, including multiple injury collisions and several medical calls.

“We would require the help of both neighboring departments, Carson City Fire and Tahoe Douglas Fire, to get through it at times but we somehow did it,” Valenzuela said. “Our guys did a great job today.”

East Fork has members spread between three states working on multiple different wildfire assignments including safety officers, task force leaders, and our own engine companies.

“It is something we need to do even though it puts a strain on our own agency from time to time,” Valenzuela said. “The experience we gain while on assignment becomes very useful on our local incidents. It also gives us an opportunity to help our Cooperators when their resources are drawn down due to Wildfire activity.”

Even with the weather turning cooler, there is still significant threat of Wildfire until true winter moisture, Valenzuela said.

“East Fork would like to remind everybody to remain cautious with respect to outside fire activity,” he said.

The Nevada Highway Patrol responded to two multiple-vehicle collisions on Highway 395 and Topsy Lane around 5 p.m. Friday.

The autumn equinox arrives the Friday afternoon, according to the U.S Naval Observatory.