New Fire Trucks for Dry, Dangerous Backcountry
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
San Diego's backcountry fire departments got new fire trucks today. County officials secured $4.2 million to buy them. KPBS reporter Andrew Phelps checked out the trucks.
Shelter Valley, just east of Julian, has a tiny volunteer fire department. The valley is sparsely populated and covered in dry brush: Prime wildfire country.
Volunteer Fire Chief Jerry Sanders gets two of the new fire trucks. And they are shiny.
Sanders : We'll keep them shiny, but when they come back from the strike team, you wouldn't recognize them. They're covered with mud and dirt, and they smell like they've been in a barbecue.
One of the trucks carries about 2,000 gallons of water.
Sanders : We can be, like, 20 miles away from the station, fighting a fire, without any reserve water. And having one of these on-hand will give us a break because it takes maybe a half-hour, 45 minutes to get outside agencies to respond.
Sanders says now he needs better training for his volunteer team.
Andrew Phelps, KPBS News.
To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.
Please stay on topic and be as concise as possible. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Community Discussion Rules. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.