Local

Valley firefighters return from SoCal

Monday, May 06, 2013

Dozens of local firefighters are now backing home after fighting the Springs Fire in Southern California.

As the Springs Fire in Ventura County grew Friday, fire crews from across the state were called in to help, including firefighters from here in the Valley.

Fresno Battalion Chief Chuck Tobias says the Valley crews formed a strike team and once on scene went to work right away protecting homes at Point Mugu Naval Base.

Tobias said, "They were threatened by the fire that had changed direction due to a significant wind shift. It was being pushed down a hill, right on top of their homes."

Valley firefighters helped with the evacuations. Fire crews worked around the clock and were able to protect the homes at the military base.

Local firefighters are also gearing up for a busy fire season ahead. This month, crews are going through extensive training to get them ready for wild land fires.

"They're driving our brush rigs and patrols in rough terrain to see what they can do," said Tobias. "They're doing progressive house lace so that in case we can't access some of those areas by driving our vehicles back there we extend lines to help put the fires out."

So far, Fresno fire crews have already put out more than 70 wild land and grass fires this spring.

"The weather is already warm, the fuels have dried out and are ready to burn," said Tobias. "All we need is a wind event and ignition sources and we are off the races."

With an early start to the fire season. Crews know this is just the beginning of what could be a very busy summer.

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