In 2014 and 2015, fires that spread to roughly 300,000 acres in north-central Washington broke previously held records for that state. The blaze in 2014 destroyed several communities and caused trestle and track damage to short line Cascade & Columbia River Railroad. Other fires have led to closures of BNSF and Union Pacific main lines in Washington, Idaho and Montana, and prompted the deployment of firefighting resources throughout the region.
TCU Carmen are building the train cars that help fight these fires.
Railroads place an increased emphasis on stopping wildfire damage before it happens. UP spokesman Francisco Castillo said, “Our focus has been on preventative measures, so that we’re ready to respond in the event wildfires were to reach UP property.” Castillo outlined those measures for Railway Age: “We have an active Fire Risk Assessment program to determine our high risk territories. Water tenders are strategically staged throughout critical mountain pass territory (i.e. Oroville and Dunsmuir, Calif.; Pendleton, Ore.). Our team monitors the U.S. Forestry wildfire data 24/7. We participate in joint meetings with U.S. Forestry and relevant state agencies in high risk territories to prepare for any incident.”
“TCU is proud of the work these members are performing,” said TCU Carmen Division General President Rich Johnson “The tireless efforts these members perform are not only hard work but keeping the railroads and this country safe.”
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