Firefighting crews battling a massive wildfire on the Oregon-California border faced vehicle failures Friday due to a fuel mix-up, according to officials. The Smith River Complex Fire, which burned nearly 86,000 acres, was the scene of these incidents.
Firefighters on the south side of the fire noticed problems with fire trucks and all vehicles, causing concern. It was later discovered that the fuel trucks, tasked with delivering fuel to vehicles in remote areas, had been incorrectly filled the previous day. Some trucks are filled with gasoline instead of diesel, or vice versa.
This fuel mix resulted in a brief halt in firefighting efforts between 4pm and 6pm on Friday. However, the authorities assured that there will be no negative consequences for the general fire fighting operation. Out of a total of 700 vehicles, 42 received the wrong fuel.
To take care of the trapped firefighters, arrangements were made to move them to nearby camps where they spent the night. Improperly filled fuel is collected in 55-gallon drums and returned to the fuel supplier for proper disposal.
The Smith River Complex Fire, burning in the Six Rivers and Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forests, is currently 20% contained. Despite fuel complications, progress has been made in fighting this forest fire.