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Crews from San Diego County helping with Dixie Fire in Northern California

Posted at 5:13 PM, Aug 09, 2021

SAN DIEGO (KGVT) - As of Monday, the Dixie Fire burning in Northern California since July 13 had scorched 489,287 acres.

"This fire has been actively burning for the last four weeks," said Mark Beveridge, a Batallion Chief for the National City Fire Department. Beveridge is currently in Susanville, serving as a public information officer for Cal Fire on this incident. "This one's big, and the fire behavior's very extreme up here."

Beveridge tells ABC 10News that firefighters had a couple of good weather days but are now expecting a wind event.

"We have meteorologists that are on the team, so when they start predicting those things, our tactics change a little bit; they might go from direct attack to an indirect attack," he explained.

According to Beveridge, about 5,813 firefighters are battling the Dixie Fire, including teams from San Diego Couty.

"We call it a mixed strike team. There are San Diego, Poway, National City, Chula Vista, anybody who has an OES that's available we'll put into a strike team," he said. "And we all train together, so it's seamless for us."

He said crews are switched out every 14 days and replaced with other personnel from local fire departments.
Beveridge said when San Diego crews respond to assists with large fires, they make sure there's enough staffing back at home in case anything happens locally.

"All of our chiefs get together, and they figure out what our staffing levels should look like, and then when the state calls if we're available, then they'll release us," he said. "There's been multiple times we've had to turn down assignments because our staffing levels were too low."