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San Diego Strike Team returns from fighting harrowing Kincade Fire

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Posted at 4:09 PM, Nov 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-02 20:06:31-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A San Diego Strike Team called to battle the Kincade Fire returned home Halloween night, and told 10News of the harrowing fight.

The team was comprised of five engines and 21 firefighters from Imperial Beach, Coronado, San Diego, and Chula Vista, according to Battalion Chief Rob Hartman. The group spent four days on the front lines.

"The resources were very limited just because of everything going on in the state," Hartman said, adding there was no air support in the area where they were fighting the fire.

Another challenge they faced was, "just finding a water source. Sometimes out in the country, it's not like there's a fire hydrant every 300 feet. We had to drive a ways to get water to fill up and get back into the fight again."

Hartman said they got hardly any sleep and worked in constant dark smoke and strong winds.

"This is your area, you want to save everything but there are just times where it's just not going to happen."

Hartman said it was a struggle to save some homes. One firefighter spotted a home down a narrow driveway that was starting to catch fire.

"It was just so dangerous, the road was so narrow, there was no place to turn around. The house was already, it was going to be over the amount of water we had and we had to just turn to the guy and say this is going to be a loser. We're not going to be able to do this safely," Hartman said.

He described the struggle of losing any businesses or homes during the battle, "you try to put yourself in the position of the owner, so you want to safe the house, you want to save every house... Sometimes it's a little heart-wrenching."

Ultimately the strike team stopped the fire line, protecting the City of Windsor.

Hartman said they remain ready to deploy if needed.