Fire Rescue crews unload in preparation to battle a wildfire in Fort McMurray, Alta., May 5, 2016. (Photo: Jason Franson/CP)"So they're living on food that you can take with you wherever you're going," said Capcara. "The crews, after about the first 20 hours, were pretty sick of Gatorade and granola bars, which is what we have as a minimum in all our trucks." The firefighters in the second rotation are heading up with more varied provisions in their trucks, he said. Despite the tough conditions, Capcara said members are banging down his door wanting to go up. "We are co-ordinating with the provincial operations centre to support them as much as we can. Everybody wants to go, but we're being careful about being able to maintain our own emergency services here at a bare minimum," he said. "I'm having to hold back a lot of guys who really want to go up and help, for sure."
Many firefighters turned awayBrian McEvoy, chief of the Bonnyville Regional Fire Authority, said he's also had to turn down many of the firefighters clamouring to go. Conditions in that area have been just as dry and hot as those in Fort McMurray, some 400 kilometres to the northwest. Bonnyville has sent a water truck and two firefighters who are "getting pretty exhausted and worn out." The Cold Lake fire department is rotating two, five-member crews, said chief Jeff Fallow. "They're running on very little sleep and they're finally able to rotate crews in and out a little bit." Three of the department's 70 members are paid, with the rest volunteers. A lot of the volunteers have lined up time off with their bosses to pitch in, but Fallow said most can't go. "We're hot and dry in this area and we've got to look after our citizens too."
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