Many firefighters from the Bay Area and elsewhere have responded to the destructive Camp Fire that continues to burn in Butte County.
“Every county along the coast from Monterey north to Del Norte has sent firefighters,” said Mike Marcucci, assistant chief of operations for the East Bay Division of Cal Fire.
From Cal Fire OES Region II, which covers those 10 coastal counties, 645 firefighters were deployed beginning Thursday to the Camp Fire and to the Woolsey Fire in Southern California. Those firefighters were part of 25 strike teams, three task forces, three water tender crews and 21 overhead crews.
Strike teams made up of firefighters from cities and counties all over California have been sent to the fires, Marcucci said.
Aisha Knowles, a spokeswoman for the Alameda County Fire Department, said that since Thursday, five county fire engines are part of strike teams sent to the Camp Fire, and two others to the Woolsey Fire.
Two battalion chiefs, a division chief and a captain were among the personnel sent to the two fire zones, Knowles said.
Among the other departments in Alameda County sending firefighters to the Camp Fire are those in Oakland, Hayward, Berkeley, Fremont, Livermore-Pleasanton, Alameda, Piedmont and Albany, as well as the East Bay Regional Park District Fire Department, Knowles said.
They’ve also come from beyond California borders; there’s even a group of 200 firefighters leaving from Texas for firefighting duty in Butte County. Also, more than 2,000 volunteer inmate firefighters, including 58 youth offenders, are battling wildfires throughout the state, according to the state Department of Corrections.
As of Sunday night, the Camp Fire death toll is 29. About 111,000 acres have burned and 6,713 buildings have been destroyed.
Sending all those firefighters hundreds of miles from home can’t leave the home stations undermanned, Marcucci said.
“It’s a constant chess game, a huge chess game, for moving resources around and keeping all our bases covered,” he said.
Story originally published by Bay City News.