CALIFORNIA, USA — In an instant, hordes of firefighters traveled hundreds of miles from their homes to the Kincade Fire in Sonoma County to help Californians in need.
Nearly 300 fire departments, operational areas, and protection districts charged toward fire line of the raging Kincade Fire, a fire that has forced nearly 200,000 people to leave their homes.
According to Cal Fire, roughly 5,000 fire personnel are involved in the fire fight in Sonoma County. Those firefighters are comprised of crews as near as Bodgea Bay and Santa Rosa and as far as Sacramento, Fresno, Los Angeles, and San Diego. That response is due to the state's fire and rescue mutual aid system, once touted by State Fire and Rescue Chief Kim Zagaris as "the best in the world."
In 2018, Zagaris told ABC10 that the system was founded on the concept of neighbors helping neighbors, even if it meant that neighbor was coming from San Diego to help in Siskiyou County.
Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District had a strike team of five engines and more than 20 firefighters taking 24-hour shifts to protect buildings, livestock, and outbuildings in specific parts of Calistoga.
The California Office of Emergency Services sent a list of local fire departments across California providing mutual aid to crews in Sonoma County on Monday.
Some fire departments not on the list have sent personnel. Ceres Fire Department noted they had deployed on Oct. 25 with three engines from Denair Fire, Turlock Rural Fire, Modesto Fire, and two Tuolumne County fire departments.