Wildfires across the state are putting strain on local firefighters

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Dozens of crews from the Central Valley have already left to assist-- leaving departments looking for ways to fill the void at home. (KFSN)

The wildfires across the state are putting pressure on local firefighters. Dozens of crews from the Central Valley have already left to assist-- leaving departments looking for ways to fill the void at home.

Inside the Emergency Command Center, requests for help keep coming in. While outside at these Cal Fire stations staff is quickly running low.

"We recharge our batteries and then we are on the road to another incident," said Chris King, Battalion Chief, Cal Fire.

Roughly 200 firefighters from the Central Valley were sent away to help fight two major fires burning in Los Angeles and Monterey County. Battalion chiefs are finding themselves constantly redistributing resources.

"You always feel a sense of satisfaction when people come back and you are beginning to erase it. But this time of the year it doesn't take along before you fill it back up again," said King.

At the Cal Fire station in Coarsegold, one of their last engines were dispatched on Wednesday to Tuolumne County. The station is now calling in assistance from neighboring counties.

"We are making requests to get more state engines, but there can be a significant travel time with that," said Chris Christopherson, Battalion Chief, Cal Fire.

Firefighters said the aid they are providing is mutual. Just last week, a wildfire in Coarsegold drew resources from across the state.

"With the fire activity we've had we've had to draw on those resources here as far away as Mendocino County and San Diego County," said Christopherson.

Back in Fresno County crews are now staffing reserve equipment. A balancing game firefighters have unfortunately grown accustomed to.

"We're not as full as we would normally be, but that's fairly common this time of year. We're moving things in and out on a daily basis," said King.

Cal Fire said every station in Fresno County is staffed with at least one engine and they will cancel days off if it is necessary.
Related Topics:
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