CRETE, Greece (NNS) -- Firefighters from Naval Support Activity (NSA) Souda Bay battled flames around Lakki, Crete, on Aug. 23, alongside local Greek firefighters.
For the second time in less than a month, the Governor's Office of Chania asked for U.S. Navy assistance to extinguish brush fires in western Crete.
A team of six firefighters arrived at the scene with one fire engine and one brush truck, and two Sailors responded with a water truck, to help the local fire departments that included a contingent of Greek navy firefighters.
"We spent the evening working our separate areas, me in Brush [truck] One up on top," said Todd McKinzie, captain of Souda Bay Emergency Services.
Because of the brush truck's small size, the fire team was able to gain better access into the area where a few structures were in danger, said McKinzie.
While the brush truck was used to protect structures in areas with limited access, Souda's fire engine kept the fire from spreading along the road toward the village.
"We found a fire that was approximately 2,000 acres, which was threatening to get into that village," said McKinzie. "The fire was very active at that point. Engine Two with Captain Carlton was put down the road to contain a flank of the fire burning toward the village itself. They worked very diligently into the evening to contain that."
In addition to Souda Bay's emergency vehicles, McKinzie said there were approximately 30 other fire engines from all over Crete assisting with firefighting efforts.
"They bring engines from all over the island, but as we know, the island itself is having fires happening all over. This is where we can assist them, they don't have to bring from other areas and cut down on their manpower," said McKinzie.
"It helps [them] tremendously, it helps free up some of their fire trucks to go up and fight in some of the hard to reach areas. [We] put out the smaller blazes here, help out anyway we can," said water tender Construction Mechanic 1st Class Brian Boyd.
"That shows we're here, and really wanting to get involved with the local community and assist them in any manner we can and with whatever equipment we have. This involvement helps the morale of the fire department also," said McKinzie.
Souda Bay's firefighting team helped contain the brush fire throughout the night, and returned to base the next morning.
"As firefighters, that's what we're here for, to help prevent loss of life and property," said McKinzie.
For more news from Naval Support Activity Souda Bay, Crete, Greece, visit www.news.navy.mil/local/soudabay/.