Firefighters from the Cal Fire Madera-Mariposa-Merced Unit left Monday afternoon to help battle a wildfire that started Saturday in Southern California.
As of Tuesday morning, the fire had burned nearly 5,000 and was only 15% contained.
Five engines with around 20 crews left from a truck stop in Fresno around 5:00 p.m. Monday afternoon to make the 9-hour drive to San Diego County where the Chariot Fire is burning into a camp site off Sunrise Highway, southeast of Julian.
Residents have been evacuated from 120 homes and 8 structures have been destroyed.
Other local Cal Fire crews had already left earlier in the day to help with the Lebec Fire along Interstate 5 in Kern County,
Fire crews have already been extremely busy this season and there is no end in sight.
Cal Fire Battalion Chief Chris Christopherson said, "In the history of most of our careers, we have not seen fire danger and activity this early in the year that we're seeing. I work with guys that have 30-40 years in the department and they've never seen conditions this early, this severe in the season."
Other fire crews from Santa Clara are heading back to the Valley staff our fire departments in case of local emergencies.
There have been a few minor injuries on the Chariot Fire.
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