Wildfires pose special challenges, area firefighters say - KCTV5

Wildfires pose special challenges, area firefighters say

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As firefighters in the San Diego area battle raging wildfires, area firefighters say they pose special challenges.

Johnson County Fire District #1 is the only fire department in the area with a truck equipped to handle the type of wildfires engulfing southern California.

About 20,000 people have been evacuated due to the fires, Battalion Chief Trig Morley said. It is hard to comprehend that enormous scale. 

"That's Gardner. That would be evacuating the community of Gardner," Morley said.

Morley heads up a crew that takes the engine on the road to help fight wildfires in the West. There are always risks in fires, he said. A house fire is a sprint while a wildfire is a marathon, he said.

"These guys are working 16- to 18-hour days," Morley said. "They are going to go catch a meal and a break, typically sleeping on the ground in a tent then right back to the fire line the next morning after breakfast and a briefing."

The Johnson County engine runs under federal contract and the fire district gets paid for all the work done out of the area. They can roll again in a few weeks.

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