people and communityamber resources proudly supplies fuel to california firefighters
1 min read | september 23, 2022
California’s wildfire season seems to get worse every year.
In 2020 and 2021, the number of fires and acreage affected across the state rose to record highs. This year to date, more than 300,000 acres of California have been damaged by fire.
Thanks to the efforts of state and national firefighters, the Oak Fire—a persistent blaze near Yosemite National Park—is nearing full containment.
While the firefighters were fighting the fire, Amber Resources was focused on supplying fuel for their trucks.
“These guys are true heroes,” said Tony Thompson, general manager of Amber Resources, a subsidiary of Chevron Renewable Energy Group that lent support during the Oak Fire.
fueling the fight
Bringing fuel to a fire may sound counterintuitive, but it’s how manpower is supported by machinery. It’s where the rubber meets the road in terms of making headway in the most trying of circumstances.
“We’ve got specialized box trailers that we’ve converted into what we call ‘base camp refuel,’” Thompson said. “These trailers are fitted with multiple tanks inside and external meters and pumps that sit outside. We set the trailers up, put containment mats down in front and then we have meters that can come out alongside, just like a gas station.”
Thompson, an employee of Amber Resources for almost 20 years, is proud to support state firefighters’ efforts.
“We like to say that we provide service with a smile,” he says. “These guys coming down the hill have been fighting fires for days or weeks. Their faces are covered in soot, and just being a friendly face that can make them smile for a second … that’s what we like to do.”
how it works
When fires break out, resources are brought in from all over California. Base camps are created as safe zones, respites near the fire where firefighters can finally get some sleep after 10-to-15-hour shifts.
On some of the larger camps, a myriad of equipment is sometimes brought in. All those vehicles need fuel—gasoline, diesel, diesel exhaust fluid (DEF)—and Thompson’s crew provides it while the firefighters focus on the fire.
“A lot of these camps can be way out in the middle of nowhere in the forest,” he said. “And sometimes they have to shut down the whole area.”
where it stands
The Oak Fire affected more than 19,000 acres near the Sierra Nevada since July 22. Thanks to these firefighters, approximately 98% of the blaze has been contained as of August 29. Amber Resources’ services are no longer required, but Thompson said he and his crew remain at the ready.
“We've had some really bad years recently,” Thompson said. “We had multiple crews on fires throughout last year and at the peak five crews mobilized at one time. Having that many employees out there is a big strain back home, but we take it seriously and do what we can. It’s a rewarding experience.”
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