Local firefighters, equipment head north to assist San Bernardino wildfire battle

Posted at 9:42 PM, Aug 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-17 00:42:22-04

San Diego area firefighters have traveled north to help battle four major fires in California; the most recent being the wildfire in San Bernardino County. This, while the red flag warning is flying here.

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Cal Fire-San Diego Capt. Kendal Bortisser told 10News, "About 15 engines are gone right now from Cal Fire-San Diego, but we've staffed up reserve apparatus to fill in behind that equipment that's gone."

Providing our neighbors with mutual aid comes at a cost but the plan is to keep it reasonable.

"Taking care of the home front is always priority number one and we do have a level where we say, 'No more resources are available. The unfortunate thing is up and down the state there's eight major fires burning, almost 9,000 firefighters on front lines."

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He says they have a staffing pattern in place, meaning vacations and time off could be postponed.

"I would imagine it won't be too much longer where days off will be canceled for all our folks. The director has done it in the past and because we're so thin we need to recall folks off-duty and get them back on-duty."

Ready to roll where and when needed, fire crew management has to watch the big picture every day.

"It's additional equipment, additional personnel, holding folks on duty, canceling days off, any or all of the above is what's in place right now to ensure we have resources in place in San Diego in the event anything should happen."