Southern California Wildfires: Valley Crews Battle Flames
FRESNO, Calif. (KMPH) —
Hundreds of firefighters from the valley are helping crews down in Southern California including a Fresno area strike team made up of about 20 firefighters.
Fresno Fire Battalion Chief Chuck Tobias says, "There were a lot of structures threatened and an evacuation was in progress to get individuals out. The winds shifted and the fire was threatening the area where these residents were. So we were really quite busy for the initial part of our tour here."
Battalion Chief Tobias says the wind is cooperating but the 'Camarillo Fire' remains only 20 percent contained.
Chief Tobias says, "It is burning in a lot of canyons and up slopes so it's a really difficult fire. It depends on the weather along with being able to access areas of the fire with our air assault and ground crews."
Public Information Officer Koby Jones with the Fresno Fire Department say, "Its super dry. It's just waiting for a spark to go, and if you get a windy day that we had this week, that's all it going to take."
With the Fresno area strike team consisting of firefighters from Fresno, Clovis, Atwater, Merced, and Kings County, does that mean our fire protection here in the valley is at risk?
Jones says, "It doesn't hurt us here at all. The staffing is paid for by the state and the people who fill in are augmented by the state. The people of Fresno are not going to see any loss at all."
The City of Fresno Fire Department has already been busy this summer.
This week alone, the department has responded to 25 grass fires, and because of the short winter, everyone needs to take extra precautions.