July 8th marked Fresno’s 12th consecutive day of the temperature reaching 100o or higher. Nobody is feeling more exhausted from it than firefighters who are all suited up and entering burning buildings.
Fresno firefighters wrapped up their gear at Webster Elementary Monday evening after dousing a fire which scorched the school's jungle gym.
“It burned all of the plastic components of the playground,” said Thomas Cope of the Fresno Fire Dept.
The fire spread to nearby grass and took off running up the embankment of Highway 180 causing even more work for crews in this hot weather.
“It’s easy to overheat, so we have to add personnel to our structure fire responses,”
A total of 25 firefighters responded to a blaze a few hours earlier on Durant Way, which is near Belmont and Highway 99.
“It’s suspicious at best until we determine otherwise,” said Rich Cabral of the Fresno Fire Dept.
A garage caught fire then ignited two vacant homes which sat close by. Investigators received reports that a certain transient has been known to hang out in the area.
“But we have been unable to account for the individual who may have been staying in the area during the time of the fire,” said Cabral.
Whenever it's over 100o outside, firefighters follow what is called Heat Stress Protocol. Meaning an additional three to eight firefighters are dispatched to structure fires. It allows crews to rotate in and out every 15 minutes to catch some shade and grab a much needed drink of water.
“It’s a tough job. We're bundled up in our turnouts that don’t allow our bodies to breathe and cool off like the clothing you and I are wearing, so it can be a real challenge,” said Cope.
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