The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians has donated a fire truck to the Cahuilla Band of Indians.
Cahuilla leadership members visited the Chumash reservation in Santa Ynez last month to pick up their new vehicle. The Chumash Fire Department originally purchased the engine in 2007 for $350,000. It is currently worth an estimated $130,000. It holds 500 gallons of water and has logged 100,000 miles during the past 12 years of fighting fires across the country, Victoria Sandoval, tribe spokeswoman, said in a news release.
“We recently purchased a new Type 3 engine for our fire department, so when we learned about the Cahuillia’s need for a truck, we decided to offer them our used truck,” Kenneth Kahn, tribal chairman for the Chumash, said in a statement. “The truck still performs well and holds significant value on the re-sale market, but helping another tribe advance its own fire department by donating a critical vehicle felt like the right thing to do.”
The Cahuilla Fire Department, as well as the Chumash department, has an agreement with the Bureau of Indian Affairs to respond for fires throughout the U.S. The Cahuilla department has battled fires in Riverside County, including the 2018 Cranstons Fire that charred more than 13,000 acres.
“A donation like this, one that is primarily focused on the preservation of life, means so much to us right now, and in the time of emergency, it will mean the world to those it saves,” Daniel Salgado, Cahuilla tribal chairman, said in a statement. “Because we are in a rural area with a large land base, we are often the first ones on the scene. This engine will greatly elevate our emergency response capabilities in our community in hopes of suppressing a fire in that narrow margin of time after ignition before it becomes an uncontrollable wildfire.
“This gift will help us preserve life so we can continue carrying on these traditional value and someday return the blessing or carry it forward to the next people in need,” Mr. Salgado added.