Imperial Valley Strike Teams activated to San Diego

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Engine Strike teams on Hwy 14 on Buckweed Fire

IMPERIAL – On Wednesday, just before 5:00pm the Yuma Fire Department received a mutual aid request from southern California regarding wildfires in San Diego County.

Within the next hour an Engine and four YFD personnel left Yuma to meet with other members of the Imperial Valley Strike Team.

Imperial County partnered with a strike team out of Yuma, Arizona and are working to protect homes and buildings in Carlsbad from the Poinsettia Fire.

Strike team members are hybrids who are cross-trained as both urban and wild-land firefighters.

This was the second of two strike teams to leave from Imperial County yesterday.

A Strike Team usually consists of 5 engines and a team leader drawn from various departments.

A team will normally stay together through their deployment and, due to the equipment and training of the personnel, they are expected to be used for structure protection duties.

Another assembled team was notified they were being assigned to the “River” fire. That fire is reported to be burning in the area of Oceanside, CA in San Diego County.

Brawley Fire Department has sent a team of 4 firefighters and one engine.

“Our team is on an operational work period in which they work for so many hours and then are able to rest a bit,” said Brawley Fire Chief Chuck Peraza. “It’s uncertain how long they will be there. With all of the many fires at this time, they are being sent from location to location, wherever they are needed. They will be utilized as long as they are needed, the situation improves, and structure protection is in place.”

Nine fires are ongoing in the San Diego area. The large number of fire crews give each other backup and help get hot spots under control.

Two teens have been arrested in a related incident in which they were caught trying to start a brush fire. It is not known if they are responsible for starting the numerous “suspicious” fires.