Base camp for firefighters battling Mineral Fire is refuge for those on the front line

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Outside of the dangers of the fire is a base camp-- a place of refuge for those out on the frontline. (KFSN)

Firefighters from all over California continue to battle the Mineral Fire near Coalinga. More than 1,100 personnel are on the ground fighting the wildfire that is still holding at 5,000 acres and only 10-percent contained. But outside of the dangers of the fire is a base camp-- a place of refuge for those out on the frontline.

"It's a portable city that we develop around the incident itself," said Brandon Vaccaro, Cal Fire PIO.

And just like the fire the base camp has also grown. Providing food, a place to shower, and even a place to sleep for the men and women working to put out the blaze.

"Rest is essential for the firefighters," said Vaccaro.

The resting takes place in sleeper trailers. All 10 of them are built with 42 bunk beds in each. Each bunk has its own air vent that firefighters-- who have spent hours out in the heat-- can adjust for comfort. A luxury to help them get a good day or night's rest.

"You look forward to being in a bed air conditioned, and it helps for morale-- it helps you get hyped up," said Salvador Pamplona, firefighter.

The base camp also has a mobile kitchen unit. There are only six of them in the state of California and three are at other fires. Manuel Toste helps run the one at the Mineral Fire. He said about 20 inmates so far have prepared over two thousand healthy hot meals. That's breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the firefighters.

"When we see people coming through the lines saying thank you, we hear it when we talk to them on the tables. They love it, they're happy with what we're serving them. It makes us happy."

The base camp also has a medical trailer for anyone who may need medicine like Tylenol or ibuprofen. There's also a human resources mobile unit-- that's where the firefighters when it's time to leave, go to drop off their time sheets before heading back home to their families.
Related Topics:
societycal firefirefighterswildfirefresno countyCoalinga
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