Foothill Volunteer Fire Department Faces Water Uncertainties

A foothill volunteer fire department has found itself in an emergency water situation.

The Mountain Valley Fire Department faces the reality of not having enough water to fight fires after its only water tender crashed last week.

The Fire department covers 200-square miles and protects about 2,000 homes In the eastern foothills.

"You're going to be more careful as to how much water you're putting on a certain situation, would you put out or chase a fire, it certainly changes the dynamics of how you would fight a fire," said Kevin Eaker, the fire department's fire chief.

The nearest water tender is in Orange Cove, about 45 minutes away.

In an area that is prone to grass fires, those minutes are crucial.

"I think people just need to take the time and keep their weeds down. Be smart about that, be preventative," said Squaw Valley resident Kevin Gair.

But until the fire department's water tender gets fixed, the staff of volunteer firefighters may have to learn to fight fire without their best weapon - water.

Fixing the water tender could cost upward of $200,000 Eaker said.