By Staff Sgt. Matthew Coleman-Foster | 50th Space Wing Public Affairs
SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — The Schriever Fire Department sent two firefighters and a vehicle to combat the Blaney Road fire approximately five miles northwest of Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Sept. 30, 2019.
Jerry Quintana, 50th Civil Engineer Squadron lead firefighter, and Jacob Stratton, 50th CES firefighter provided support to the El Paso County fire suppression efforts.
With the fire spreading fast, and in response to a request for support, SFD dispatched two firefighters with a type 3 wildland pumper, one of 14 firefighting apparatuses on scene. Quintana said they were one of the first crews to respond and actively fought the fire for approximately four hours.
“We were assigned to the east flank of the fire,” he said. “Several structures were involved and protected on our line. Fire crews remained at the fire overnight to mop up any remaining hot spots. Two structures were lost during the fire.”
Stratton said he had a feeling something was going to happen since Red Flag conditions were in effect that day from noon to 7 p.m., and was already thinking about moving quickly to get ahead of the fire.
Stratton said, the fire serves as a lesson about why it is important to have fire prevention practices in place.
“In this area, we experience high winds and dry weather from summer until about the start of winter,” he said. “If you are going to have a fire or burn, make sure you have water or some form of extinguisher available.”
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but the collaboration among the agencies allowed them to come together and get the job done.
“One life and several homes were saved during the emergency,” Quintana said. “It’s always a pleasure to serve the community in any way we can. All the firefighters were professional and deserve the upmost respect.”
According to Allen Perry, SFD deputy fire chief, the department responds to approximately 220 calls each year and about 20 of those are to provide support to a local mutual-aid partner. SFD trains annually with local mutual-aid partners including Ellicott Fire Department, Falcon Fire Department, Colorado Springs Fire Department and El Paso County Fire Department, on a variety of fire prevention and suppression tactics.