Wyatt Kuiken stands outside the South Bend Fire Department.
South Bend resident Wyatt Kuiken took it upon himself to gather up his gear and drive the better of six hours to the northern part of the state to help where he could with the current wildfires.
"I helped on the base camp some and some on the line. I was in Twisp," said Kuiken.
His journey lasted only a couple of days, but when the call went out for volunteers, Kuiken heeded the call.
Working primarily in the base camp that was set up, Kuiken also did some time on the fire line.
"They were hoping that I could join a strike team, but I was only able to help a couple of days and had to return to work."
The fire at Twisp River is rolled up into the Okanogan Complex of fires which is currently over 144,000 acres with a reported 1,658 people involved in battling the blaze. Over 7,000 residences are threatened by the fire with a total of 123 confirmed destroyed; another 72 structures have also been taken in the fire.
Supporting the 1600 people four helicopters and 154 fire engines are on the scene. Numbers fluctuate as the fire moves and the percentage of containment is hard to judge, but reports have stated as much as 30% containment. The probable cause has been noted as lightening for this timber and grass fire.
At the time I needed to start heading back they had started getting the resources they needed. When I was there the fires were moving at about 20 miles per hour," said Kuiken.
No reports of any of the coastal rain experienced in Pacific County this past weekend making it to the wildfire area, but Kuiken also noted that it would have only been a drop in the bucket as far as the fires are concerned.
Kuiken was also called out to assist on the recent fire in Onalaksa where the cause was attributed to a possible farm machine working in the fields.
"People really need to understand that we are in a very dry time of the year, and to be careful."