SHASTA COUNTY, Calif. - As more than a million acres burn across our state, local firefighters are racing to the rescue. But with many heading to the frontlines to battle the flames, the Cal Fire Shasta-Trinity Unit is using other parts of the force to fight fires if needed.
“We're utilizing our fuels reduction crews and other firefighter hand crews in place of those that are out,” said Cheryl Buliavac with the Cal Fire Shasta-Trinity Unit.
Cal Fire says fires of this scale are not common. The Shasta-Trinity Unit is having to get creative, finding ways to fill spots left open by firefighters battling fires around the state.
“For us, sending out those resources to help with that, leaves us with a deficit,” said Buliavac.
“We are using reserve fire engines and we have fire engines through the Shasta County Fire Department, and some of our local fire protection districts.”
The Shasta -Trinity Unit also says it's also heavily relying on its quick aggressive air attack if a fire were to break out in Shasta County.
The staffing shortage is also causing concern for folks here at home.
“It's really kind of scary and I know we don’t have a lot of firefighters,” said Marty Karke of the Bay Area.
“Hopefully they have a lot of experienced people on staff that can make the resource stretch.”
“I feel really bad that it takes that many people to put that fire out,” said Shyann Teem of Anderson.
As the fires continue to rage and the possibility of more lightning, Cal Fire says it could use all the help it can get.
“Now more than ever we need the public to partner with us and be especially vigilant,” said Buliavac.
“Ninety-five percent of fires are human-caused and that means they're ultimately preventable.”