least one engine, sometimes two, to each call.
Every year, the department sends those teams to support fire
fighting efforts in other places. The difference is that this year,
the calls have already started.
"It's been more than previous years because the fire season has
hit earlier this year," Burbank Fire Marshal Dave Starr said. "We've
had some major fires prior to the end of June and the potential is
for there to be a lot more."
Burbank's first strike team call was May 11 in Bouquet Canyon,
about eight miles northeast of Santa Clarita. They were there nine
hours. The next day, a strike team spent 10 hours at a fire in nearby
San Francisquito Canyon. On May 13, they were called to Rancho Santa
Margarita for five hours where teams helped protect hundreds of
June was another busy month, with another fire in San Francisquito
Canyon on June 5 and 6 -- local crews were there for 120 hours.
Meanwhile, on June 6, a team spent 48 hours at a fire in Bouquet
Canyon. So far this month, a crew has spent seven hours battling a
blaze in another area, on July 8 in Placerita Canyon near Santa
Depleted local resources are backed up by reserve engines and
overtime staffing, Starr said. Officials stress that going to other
cities serves a mutual-aid function.
"How would you fight a fire when you need 200 engines on our
hillside?" Starr asked. "The only way you could is by being part of a