State and Local Fires Draw Firefighting Resources Tight

News

Kenny Garcia is a firefighter here on engine five.

This is his second day on the clock, he’s been doing that job in the heat.

“We just keep going, and going and going and getting in our gear constantly,” Garcia said.

Some of that gear has multiple layers. 

“We got our inner liner here, this is a moisture barrier.” 

Garcia’s not the only one feeling the heat.

The Fresno Fire Department’s sent seven rigs to a five-alarm fire in Sanger Sunday and resources to the Sand Fire, burning down south.

“Sent rigs out as part of the OES strike teams, and some battalion chiefs out as overhead for those,” Battalion Chief Bob Van Tassel said.  

Then, there were several fires along multiple freeways last week, plus regular calls.

Van Tassel says through it all, the city has to maintain a certain level of coverage.

That means this week, some don’t get to go home when their shift is done.

“Every single one of the spots on this engine needs to be filled every day,” Van Tassel said.  

The department budgets for the overtime. 

Firefighters expect it during summer, saying the goal is to stay safe, stay hydrated and share the workload.

Reporting in Fresno, Megan Rupe. 

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