SAN DIEGO -- Several San Diego fire crews left Sunday, headed for San Luis Obispo County to help battle the nearly 24,000-acre Alamo Fire, the largest of 14 wildfires currently burning across California.
The two Metro Zone Strike Teams that left at 6 a.m. include six engines from San Diego Fire-Rescue Department along with engines from fire departments in Poway, Chula Vista and Coronado, SDFRD spokeswoman Monica Munoz said.
The Lakeside Fire Department also tweeted Sunday that it was sending an engine and crews to help battle the blaze.
"Our engine crews assigned to these Strike Teams are responding as part of the statewide mutual aid system, and they possess the experience and training to support the current fire suppression effort in San Luis Obispo," SDFRD Chief Brian Fennessy said.
Each SDFRD engine consists of four crew members "providing leadership, communications and paramedic support," Munoz said. Three of the SDFRD engines are Type 1 and used primarily for defending structures. The other three are Type 3 brush engines designed for controlling the perimeter of a wildfire. Each of the two strike teams is led by a battalion chief and a trainee.
Fennessy said the statewide mutual-aid system that has San Diego-area crews headed north has benefited the San Diego region in the past and will again in the future.
"The State of California has the most robust and functional mutual aid system in the world," the chief said. "We fully support and regularly contribute to this system. As history has demonstrated many times in the past, we will at some point in the future count on this statewide system to provide San Diego the mutual aid support it needs."
The Alamo Fire, which began Thursday, has prompted several evacuations in San Luis Obispo County, Cal Fire reported. It had burned 23,867 acres with just 10 percent containment as of 7:30 Sunday morning and is the largest of 14 wildfires that more than 5,000 firefighters are currently battling across the state.