Firefighters from the Whitefish Fire Department are part of a strike team from Flathead County that have been working on the Thomas Fire in California. Firefighters from Whitefish include Captain Cole Hadley, task force leader Ben Fassnacht, and Cole Lackey and Sal Baccaro. The Whitefish team arrived in California on Dec. 5 and had hoped to return home by Christmas Eve, Hadley told the Pilot last week.
The Thomas Fire has burned more than 280,000 acres and destroyed more than 1,000 structures. The fire began on Dec. 4.
The Flathead strike team includes fire firefighters from Whitefish, Evergreen, Bigfork and Marion.
The black stripe across the logo of the Whitefish firetruck is in honor of Cory Iverson, 32, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection engineer from San Diego who died fighting the Thomas Fire.