Local Cal Fire agency sends strike team help contain wildfire in Southern California

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Overnight a strike team from the Mariposa, Merced, Madera and Fresno Cal Fire Department (KFSN)

Overnight a strike team from the Mariposa, Merced, Madera and Fresno Cal Fire Department left for Southern California.

The team of five engines and 17 firefighters is assigned to backfill and cover the fire stations that are out fighting the Canyon Fire.

Part of that team is on the front lines but Battalion Chief Troy Cheek says it is a challenge fighting fires in areas they are not familiar with.

"The vegetation, the topography, getting around, getting to the incident, that's a little more challenging, but we've been doing it a long time. We have maps, we have GPS," said Cheek.

Strike teams can be gone for at least two days or even up to three or four weeks.

As of Tuesday afternoon, there is no word on how long this team will be away helping in the firefight.

California Governor's Office of Emergency Services has a plan in place to help out in situations like this in Orange and Riverside Counties.

"Probably the best mutual aid system in the country if not the world as I tell most folks. Unfortunately, we go a lot of opportunities to exercise it pretty regularly for all types of rescue events," said Kim Zagaris.

Under the California Fire and Rescue, mutual aid system fire departments can request up 25 engines or five strike teams when a major disaster breaks out.

When the canyon wildfire started Monday afternoon Orange County moved resources within the country around and they needed more help when the fire moved into Riverside County and the City of Corona.

"The more fires the more complexity that we have. It is kind of like having a big chess board during the course of the day and you try to move resources to accommodate those needs as they come in," said Zaragis.

Related Topics:
wildfiresouthern californiamariposamaderamercedSouthern CaliforniaMariposaMaderaMerced
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