Yuma firefighters join strike team in San Diego County - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

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Yuma firefighters join strike team in San Diego County

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AJFD off road fire truck used by strike teams. AJFD off road fire truck used by strike teams.
APACHE JUNCTION, AZ (CBS5) -

The City of Yuma said four of its firefighters are helping to battle a wildfire in San Diego County.

They're partnered with a strike team out of California's Imperial Valley and are working to protect homes and buildings in Carlsbad from the Poinsettia Fire.

Strike team members are hybrids who are cross-trained as both urban and wild-land firefighters.

The Apache Junction Fire District has about 85 firefighters and nearly 30 of them are qualified to work on strike teams.

Dustin Farber, an Apache Junction firefighter and paramedic, is one of them.

He said these highly-qualified teams each have about five off-road fire trucks, some from different agencies, that head to wildfires in and out of state.

Each of those trucks has about three to four members attached to them.

The Yuma firefighters are currently working on a strike team whose mission is to protect structures.

But, Farber said their job could change to actually working on the fire line at any moment.

"They can be assigned for a few days to be in one geographical area to protect a certain community or homes," he explained. "And then in the middle of the night, or early in the morning, they can be told, ‘you're going 20 miles down the road with a completely different mission.'"

CBS 5 News called fire departments across the valley on Thursday.

As of Thursday night, no one had been put on alert or activated to help out with the fires in southern California.

Farber points out that could change if the wildfires rage on for an extended period of time and crews currently working them need to be relieved.

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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