Local Firefighters Aide the Battle in Southern California - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Local Firefighters Aide the Battle in Southern California

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A total of 15 engines from the Tahoe Basin Operational Area (Western Nevada, Lake Tahoe, Eastern California) were requested to help with the Thomas Fire and other fires blazing through southern California.

More than a dozen agencies contributed in the Tahoe Basin, including the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District.

Battalion Chief Chris Ketrhie says with all the help our area has received this summer, they're glad to help out.

"This year Truckee Meadows had over 10,000 man hours just from wild land fires in our areas," Ketrhie says. "And a lot of these agencies have come to help us throughout the summer, so we're very happy to contribute back."

Crews that are sent down to Ventura County will stay their for at least two weeks. If the fire is still going, they may be asked to take a third week before they're relieved by another crew, or they could be relieved after two weeks.

"We do as an agency try to rotate crews after a two week period,"  Captain Scott Stephenson says. "But it's not unusual to stay down there for longer."

Stephenson is headed down to Ventura County and says he has an idea of what to expect. In 2000, he fought a fire while on deployment near San Diego, and says he know how bad the Santa Ana winds can be.

"It's not unlike the fires that we experience here, during the Caughlin Ranch and the Washoe Drive Fire," Stephenson said. "It's the same type of fire being pushed by the winds, and even heavier winds down in the southern area."

Battalion Chief Ketrhie said while this will take away some of their firefighters, it's important that their normal operations of TMFPD won't be affected by this deployment.

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