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Eastside Fire crew returns home from fighting wildfire in southern Oregon

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ISSAQUAH, Wash. -- Firefighters from Washington are helping fight fires in Oregon and California.

Unloading and unpacking, the Eastside Fire crew returned home to Issaquah Thursday after 15 days helping fight the Taylor Creek Fire in Oregon.

“It’s small town rural America and they had about 1,000 homes within the neighborhood on the east perimeter of the fire, and that was our job to help with structural protection,” said Lt. Frank Dahlquist.

He says no structures were lost while they were there.

The Taylor Creek Fire started by lightning in mid-July. It has burned more than 30,000 acres and is about 30% contained.

"All depends on fuel, weather and topography,” said Dahlquist.

These firefighters were part of task force along with eight other local fire departments deploying to Oregon.

Dahlquist says working the night shift meant they got slight reprieve from the 105-degree daytime temperatures in that part of Oregon.

"Then once that fire slows down around midnight, 1 o’clock, we can engage more offensively to put the fire out,” said Dahlquist.

As his team was driving back home, another crew was on their way down to help fight the Carr fire in Redding, California, which was started because of a mechanical failure of a car.

The Carr Fire has scorched 125,000 acres, with more than 1,400 homes destroyed. It is only 30% contained.

The task force heading down there will be among more than 4,000 personnel fighting the fire from the ground and the air.

"There are a lot of fires going on. You wash your clothes, pack your bags and get ready for another one,” said Dahlquist.

For now, Eastside Fire gets a reprieve. “We’re going to be able to go home, take a little rest, see our families,” he said.

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