Special Sections : West Fire

Monday, Aug 23 2010 04:07 PM

Wind workers help firefighters

For months, Old West Ranch resident Brent Scheibel spoke out against the impending Alta-Oak Creek Mojave wind project because of its proximity to his property.

Then the West Fire broke out in Old West Ranch July 27, one day after ground was broken on the project operated by Terra-Gen.

Scheibel said Terra-Gen water trucks arrived quickly, giving fire crews assistance they otherwise wouldn’t have had.

The company’s quick action saved homes, Scheibel said.

“Sometimes I can be wrong,” he said during an Aug. 2 fundraising meeting at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall.

When someone asked him, “How does crow taste?” Scheibel laughed and responded, “Not too good.”

Water trucks from construction efforts for companies like Balfour Beatty and RMR Construction have also assisted firefighters in East Kern County recently.

Fire crews were able to contain a wildfire along Cameron Road near Tehachapi Willow Springs Road to approximately 40 acres Monday, Aug. 16, thanks in part to the efforts of nearby wind energy construction water trucks.

Approximately 30 firefighters from Tehachapi, Keene, Mojave and California City were called to the fire just after 1 p.m., public information officer Sean Collins said.

Also assisting in fighting the fire were Helicopter 408, a hand crew and two bulldozers, Collins said.

Firefighters were expected to remain at the scene until the fire was completely extinguished.

There were no reported injuries or damaged structures.

The fire's cause has not been determined.

Jon Lantz, who owns land in the Cameron Canyon region, said some structures on his property could have burned were it not for the readily assembled water trucks.

“I have to give a great big ‘thank you’ to the wind crews out here helping with the water trucks,” Lantz said.

Lantz said at least eight water trucks assisted in dousing the Cameron Road fire.

“These guys are very responsive, very courteous,” he said.

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