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San Luis Obispo County Fire stretched thin by current California wildfires

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Twitter @EdJoyce - Capital Public Radio
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Cal Fire strike teams from Monterey to Santa Barbara are on the front lines of wildfires burning in Northern California and the Sierra Nevada.

However, all of this support has the San Luis Obispo County Fire Department stretched to critical levels. San Luis Obispo Cal Fire entered a Level 2 critical resource draw down Tuesday. 

"We have a lot of firefighters going to the several Northern California fires. So we cannot send out a lot more because we're at draw down. We have to keep the home front covered," said Tina Rose, a spokesperson for SLO County Cal Fire.

She says they've sent out two strike teams of five engines to these fires. To make up for the coverage locally, firefighters from Southern California are staffing San Luis Obispo stations.

This practice is a common during the summer months, Rose said. But she worries because some of the driest months are just ahead of us. And with the drought, it's drier than she has ever seen.

"If people can just be so extra safe. These are all preventable fires. Nine out of ten wildfire is started by a person," Rose said.

There were five major fires burning in California as of Tuesday night. The Sand Fire outside Sacramento was the largest at more than 4000 acres and 85 percent containment.

Three fires burning in and around Yosemite National Park have charred a combined total of more than 5000 acres. The El Portal Fire—the largest of the three—was only 19 percent contained.

The smallest of the four, the Web Fire in Butte County, was at 250 acres as of Tuesday night's Cal Fire numbers.