Some of our county's biggest wildfires started in October, but as we head into this potentially dangerous time, local fire departments are struggling to fill shifts. Exhausted firefighters are turning down overtime.
This past weekend, an engine company at Fire Station 20 was shut down for 24 hours. The reason? A lack of staffing. And it's not just a problem here in the city of San Diego, they're experiencing this across the county and the rest of the state. “Shutting down an engine company is our absolute last resort,” said San Diego Fire-Rescue Chief Colin Stowell. He added that he can’t remember the last time an engine shut down because the department didn't have enough bodies.
“It really is frustrating because there's no perfect solution here,” Stowell said.