Fires

Take a ride on firefighting train battling the Delta Fire

Jump aboard the firefighting trains as they battle the Delta Fire and protecting railroad tracks, equipment

Dan Ryant was invited aboard the firefighting trains that are helping battle the Delta Fire near Shasta, California. Some of the shots are along the Sacramento River.
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Dan Ryant was invited aboard the firefighting trains that are helping battle the Delta Fire near Shasta, California. Some of the shots are along the Sacramento River.

Special equipment, locomotives and water cars are being used by Union Pacific to help fight the Delta Fire as well as protect rail infrastructure to keep goods moving along the tracks to markets.

The primary use of the water equipment is to soak rail bridges, the railroad right of way and infrastructure that could be burned - “wooden railroad ties, signal buildings, railroad related communications equipment,” said Justin Jacobs, director of media relations for UP.

Jacobs said each water car holds 12,500 gallons. The hoses spray between 250 and 500 gallons per minute, depending on which nozzle is used.

Dan Ryant of Red Bluff was recently invited to join the firefighting crews aboard the trains. He shot video of the experience.

“I first caught footage of this train while it was fighting the Delta Fire in Shasta County, CA,” he said in a YouTube post. “I made contact with the crew, (and) two days later, I was invited aboard for a short journey and was given the opportunity to help fight the fire as part of the trip.”

Crews continue to make progress fighting the Delta Fire burning in Shasta County, with the blaze 28 percent contained Friday at 60,018 acres, according to a 7 a.m. Cal Fire incident update.

Union Pacific provided archive photos showing firefighting trains from the late 1800s and early 1900s. Special equipment and locomotives are still used today to help protect rail infrastructure.

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