Extreme heat adds to firefighters' concerns

FILE -- Crews fight a fire Monday, June 12, 2017 in the area of Taft Highway and Wible Road in Bakersfield, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX photo/Alberto Garcia)

Kern County is seeing triple-digit heat this week, and with extreme temperatures there are some safety concerns.

In Kern County, firefighters are no strangers to going face-to-face with flames. They are the ones who, no matter how hot it gets, are on scene until the last embers burn out.

As we move into high-heat days, we can expect the fight to put out fires to become more complex.

"Firefighters really stay in great condition. We try to maintain a good working body, so that when called upon to perform at a high level we can," said Bakersfield Fire Department Battalion Chief John Frando.

Firefighters wear gear that allows them to respond to different scenarios. Frando said being dressed for the occasion in triple-digits temps can be challenging.

"Typically, we are actually dressed in a little bit thicker clothing with a little more layer of clothing than the average person during the summer," he said.

The heat from a fire mixed with dry heat from the sun can drain energy quickly.

"We have to pay attention to the temperatures outside and make sure we are staying hydrated well before the incident, days before we actually come back to work," said Frando.

The first responders will often bring ice and water bottles with them to an incident and take measures to rotate the firefighters out of a fire to give them time to rest.

During days of low humidity and high heat, it makes vegetation fires more intense.

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