SFFR Helping Battle Kincade Fire; Sioux Falls Native Bracing for Getty Fire

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – In Northern California, nearly 200,000 have evacuated because of the Kincade fire. The flames requiring more than 4,000 firefighters. Sioux Falls Fire Rescue now part of that group.

“Kind of out there to help our brothers and sisters that are doing that. And they’ve been doing it time and time, day after day like I said and their resources are depleted, they’re tired and they just need more bodies and more manpower to handle that situation,” said Battalion Chief Michael Koopman with Sioux Falls Fire Rescue. 

Sioux Falls Fire is on a national call list to send help when it’s requested. The latest response was three firefighters taking off on Sunday.

Farther south, the Getty fire is bearing down on Los Angeles where Sioux Falls native Erin Radke has already evacuated.

“Being from South Dakota and growing up in South Dakota you’re used to tornadoes, but when all of a sudden you’re in sunny California where everyone thinks everything is all perfect and great, all of sudden you have fires all the time now. So it kind of gives you some perspective on a whole different type of you know, beast of nature,” said Radke. 

Her apartment is about one mile south of the fire. She took these photos as she was evacuating.

“You could feel the heat, you could smell the smoke like it was right there. All of these hills completely on fire and houses on fire,” said Radke. 

The fire is currently headed toward her apartment.

“It’s just scary when it’s actually a community that you’re living in,” said Radke. 

She says the biggest issue right now is the wind.

“You can have anywhere from 20 to 60 mile an hour gusts of wind. So that’s the challenge they had this morning when they were trying to get it under control. They would have a major gust of wind and they’re right back to zero containment,” said Radke. 

At this point, she’s hoping for some help from up above.

“I think for everyone around here, we’re just kind of ready for some rain or something to happen so this stops happening,” said Radke. 

Radke doesn’t know when she’ll be able to return to her apartment. For now, she’s staying with a friend who lives further south. She says anyone living near wooded areas are finding alternative places to stay. 

 

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