August 15, 2014

State of Alabama
Press Release: Forestry Commission, Alabama

Alabama Firefighters Return from Western Wildfires

After battling wildfires out West for 14 days, eight Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC) wildland firefighters returned to Alabama on Thursday. They were part of a 20-man wildfire suppression hand crew deployed to the Carlton Complex in Washington State, one of the largest wildfires in that state’s history, on a request from the Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The crew members from the AFC included: Joey Donnelly (Escambia County), Dearl Driggers (Geneva County), Rickey Fields (Baldwin County), Ashley Haden (Russell County), Keith Niedermeier (Cherokee County), Jeffrey Owens (Butler County), Lester Williams (Geneva County), and Shane Woodham (Cherokee County).

Additionally, seven other AFC firefighters recently returned home after assisting with Western wildfire details. Derrick Heckman (St. Clair County) and Moto Williams (Chambers County) were assigned to Washington State. Five men who were dispatched to wildfires in Oregon included Ethan Barrett (Hale County), Jason Berry (Walker County), Michael King (Crenshaw County), Joel Bartlett (Marion County), and Hank McKinley (Tuscaloosa County).

Whenever the call is made for firefighting personnel, whether by the Forest Service or other states, Alabama Forestry Commission employees are always quick to volunteer. Each firefighter must meet the highest quality standards of fire training and physical fitness. To learn more about the Alabama Forestry Commission, visit


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