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Local fire personnel meet President Clinton

ABHUTCHISON, Sierra Sun

Two local U.S. Forest Service fire personnel recently met President Bill Clinton while working on a fire in the Paiute National Forest near Burgdorf Junction, Idaho.

Jacqui Zinc of the Truckee Ranger District and Janelle Thompson with the Sierraville Ranger District were called as members of a Type 2 fire team to work at the base camp in Idaho.

While they were there, President Clinton was visiting fire personnel.

“This was the most accessible fire for dignitaries to come and visit,” Zinc said. “Clinton came and had lunch with us and toured our tents to talk to us.”

Zinc was stationed in Idaho for two weeks at the camp, where operations and command were based.

As of Aug. 25, a total of 70,719 fires have burned almost 6 million acres in the U.S. this summer.

“It is really taxing our resources,” Zinc said. “Last year we had a lot of more local fires, so a lot of us were on local fires all summer.”

Local U.S. Forest Service personnel who are currently out of the area to assist with fires include: Jennifer Collenburg, David Speirs, John Minutilli and Rick Maddalena in Montana; and Engine 71 is in Wyoming.

The nearest large wildland fire to Truckee is burning in Plumas County.

The Storrie Fire, as it is called, has burned more than 43,000 acres as of Wednesday. The fire, which is located 20 miles west of Quincy, is 67 percent contained. More than 2,000 fire personnel are committed to this fire, which has reached a cost of $13 million.


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