Hydration is Key for Crews Battling Ponderosa Fire

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BUTTE COUNTY -- Water -- lots of it -- is the lifeline for firefighters taking on the on the Ponderosa Fire during this extreme heatwave.

"With the increased temperatures and low humidity, it's going to be very hot and dry out there for our firefighters," Cal Fire Battalion Chief Jeremy Rahn said.

At the command post at Chico's Silver Dollar Fairgrounds, more than 50 crates of water and sports drinks are stored and available to crews daily. On extremely hot days, Cal Fire stresses the buddy system.

"We encourage the fire fighters when possible to take breaks as they can, as well as the buddy system," Rahn said. "Keep an eye on each other, see if you see any signs of heat illnesses."

Firefighters are being urged to drink a gallon and a half of water per person for each 24 hour shift. Hydration before heading out to the fire is key.

"If we take care of ourselves early on, we are able to prevent any general illnesses especially on days like today, which are well over 100," Rahn said.

By Thursday afternoon, the Ponderosa Fire had burned 3,507 acres. Ten homes have been destroyed and 500 more homes are threatened by flames.

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