California firefighters battle fatigue as they try to get flames under control

Posted at 11:55 AM, Aug 02, 2018


LAKEPORT, CA – About 160 miles north of the Carr Fire in Redding, California, the Mendocino Complex Fire has burned 60,000 acres, destroyed at least six homes and is threatening about 10,000 more.

There are more than 1,300 firefighters rotating in 24-hour shifts. Three days in, they’re battling fatigue in addition to the flames.

"You might go hard for a couple of hours and then you might get that half an hour rest," said Will Powers, spokesperson for Cal Fire. "Just that little bit of rest usually will help you recharge and go."

These fires are taking a toll on thousands of firefighters across the state. Crews desperately trying to hold the line are relying heavily on water drops from the air.

Since 2015, fires have ravaged the region, burning an area the size of Los Angeles, while damaging or destroying more than 10,000 homes. Forty four people have been killed, and for the crews that live there, it’s a never-ending battle.

"It’s starting to become a 365 thing," Powers said. "It’s starting to become the new norm, so people adjust to that."

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