Valley fire crews fighting Santa Barbara County fire

FRESNO, Calif.

Sierra National Forest Service fire crews are gearing up to fight fire near the coast. Early Tuesday morning, they gathered in Fresno before heading out to help on the White Fire, burning in Santa Barbara County.

Fire Engine Operator Vincent Plummer said, "When we get there, if you need hose lay or structure protection, or whatever, we're prepared for that."

Nearly 90 firefighters left their fire stations in the Sierra to assist crews in the Los Padres National Forest. The local group of firefighters is made up of a strike team of engines, a hot shot crew and water team.

"They'll be beefing up the fire forces for the fire," said Mike Walsh with the Sierra National Forest Service. "The numbers will grow immensely today as more crews and engines show up on the fire."

Wind could push the wild land fire beyond what it's already burned. But fresh crews from here at home, will play a role in containing the fire.

"It'll make all the difference in the world, all the agencies the fire agencies throughout the western us help each other," said Walsh. "It doesn't matter whose fire it is, if they need some help, we provide it."

Firefighters with the U.S. Forest Service often provide mutual aid to one another and with their unique training, and they understand the challenges of battling a fire in rugged terrain.

Plummer said, "That's the thing, if we had a fire here, they'd be coming over here to help us."

With the fire season coming earlier than normal, these local crews know helping one another will be critical this summer.

Local fire crews say they're not sure how long they'll be in Santa Barbara County, but they're prepared to fight the white fire, for as long as they are needed.

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