San Diego County fire crews shift resources as Woolsey, Camp fires rage

Local crews fan out across state to help
San Diego crews shift resources for wildfires
Posted at 8:00 AM, Nov 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-13 12:17:50-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A handful of San Diego County fire departments have sent crews across the state to help with the Woolsey and Camp Fires. But Cal Fire officials tell 10News they're making sure that enough resources are left behind to cover any emergencies that happen here.

"We have an obligation here to make sure we keep enough strategic reserve to stay safe in San Diego," says Cal Fire Battalion Chief Jon Heggie.

Through a process called "Mutual Aid," Heggie says Cal Fire sent three strike teams, consisting of 15 engines, to help around the state. That leaves 32 engines in San Diego. Heggie says those engines are placed around the county ready to pounce on any fires that spring up.

"The conditions they've seen up there are very similar to what we're seeing right now," says Heggie. "The only difference is we don't have a fire."

RELATED: 10News Complete Coverage of California Wildfires

Heggie says there are no specific requirements for how many crews are kept in town, as it varies from time to time. But, he added that all time off had been canceled for Cal Fire employees while San Diego is in a Red Flag Warning.

"Everyone from the Chief down to the firefighters, they're staying in a heightened state of readiness," he says. "We'll never exceed those thresholds to make sure that we have enough adequate resources available for any fire that starts here in San Diego."

Cal Fire's ability to respond quickly was put to the test Monday, when a house fire erupted in Ramona. Crews were able to put it out within 20 minutes and kept it from spreading to nearby vegetation.


In addition to Cal Fire, local departments have sent crews to the Woolsey and Camp Fires. That includes crews from San Diego Fire & Rescue, Lakeside Fire, Chula Vista Fire, Poway and Rancho Santa Fe. Tweets from SDFD and Lakeside detailed the deployments.