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Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department crews battling Station Fire in L.A. County

'We're usually down there more than they are up here,' county chief says

Fire crews from the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department have joinced other Bay Area firefighters in Southern California to assist with the Station Fire, currently burning nearly 122,000 acres in Los Angeles County.

Cal Fire has requested that Bay Area fire agencies send "strike teams," composed of five engines, each staffed with four firefighters, to help battle the blaze. Each team also contains a strike team leader, usually a battalion chief, and a strike team leader trainee.

In Alameda County, crews from Livermore-Pleasanton, Union City, Fremont, Oakland, Hayward, Albany, Alameda, Newark and the county are helping battle the Station Fire that has been burning since last Wednesday in Los Angeles County, according to Alameda County fire spokeswoman Aisha Knowles. Another local strike team returned just Tuesday morning from the 49 Fire in Placer County, she said.

Alameda County Deputy Fire Chief Dave Rocha said his agency has seen even higher levels of deployment to southern parts of the state in

previous years.

"It's not uncommon this time of year," he said. Crews from Southern California have come up to assist this fire season, and the last one, but Rocha said, "we're usually down there more than they are up here."

Alameda County has crews on four strike teams assisting in Los Angeles County, he said. Those strike teams also contain crews and apparatus from Contra Costa County and San Francisco. Fire agencies in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties have also contributed strike teams.

San Francisco Fire Department spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge said the department could only spare one engine and four firefighters, along with a strike team leader and strike team leader trainee.

Talmadge said the department could not fulfill the state's request for more assistance because three- and four-alarm fires over the weekend stretched city resources thin.

"We also had some rigs that had to go out of service," she said.

Bay City News, Jeb Bing

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