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Santa Maria Fire Department: 30 percent of crews deployed to half-dozen fires across California

Patricia Martellotti/KEYT

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - As dozens of fires spread across California, crews from the Santa Maria Fire Department have been deployed throughout the state to help.

"We have 17 personnel assigned to about five of those large incidents. So they are in Northern California and Southern California Helping out those communities," said Fire Chief Leonard Champion with the Santa Maria Fire Department.

This makes up about 30 percent of the department’s staff.

"We sent a ton of resources out and we sent another engine to the bobcat incident down in Los Angeles," said Battalion Chief James Clayton with the Santa Maria Fire Department.

Even though fighters are deployed all over the state the department says they’re still maintaining 100 percent of their services here in Santa Maria.

"It’s putting a strain on our staff you know we have to think about their well-being so we have to take that into account and limit the amount of time that they are here and away from their families," said Clayton.

In addition to juggling the fires throughout the state, crews are also faced with the coronavirus pandemic.

"It is a challenge for us to make sure that our personnel are safe as they’re responding to Covid related medical calls," said Champion.

Currently only one firefighter is out for COVID-19 related symptoms. He’s being tested right now.

Regardless of the obstacle, the fire department plans to be there for the community.

"They adapt they are very flexible and they’re tight-knit community, so that’s what keeps us together," said Champion.

California / Coronavirus / Fire / Santa Maria - Lompoc - North County / Video
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Patricia Martellotti

Patricia Martellotti is a reporter for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Patricia, click here.

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