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A Riverside firefighter covers the face of another firefighter as they work a wildfire Thursday, May 15, 2014, in Escondido, Calif. One of the nine fires burning in San Diego County suddenly flared Thursday afternoon and burned close to homes, trigging thousands of new evacuation orders.(AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Dozens of Bay Area firefighters from the South Bay and East Bay have arrived in San Diego County to help battle massive fires that have burned more than 8,000 acres.

A total of 26 firefighters from Santa Clara County are joined by 17 Alameda County firefighters to help fight back the Poinsettia fire in Carlsbad and the Cocos Fire in San Marcos, which have gobbled up homes and buildings, forced evacuations and shut down roads.

Bay Area crews have been on their toes since the fires broke out earlier this week, ready to leave on a moment's notice. The crew from Santa Clara County departed at midnight on Wednesday, with a strike team of 22 firefighters in five engines with off-road capabilities and a crew of four on an emergency services engine.

John Farrell, an Oakland fire captain who arrived with the Alameda County crews, said there's isn't enough equipment and firefighters to battle the multiple fires.

"They are trying really hard to get a grip with the lack of resources they have," Farrell said.

As of Friday morning, no Contra Costa crews have been called in, but Contra Costa Fire Protection District Capt. Kent Kirby said, "we're ready to go as soon as we get the word."

Meanwhile, those who stayed home are keeping a watchful eye on fire danger areas here such as the East Bay hills in what is shaping up to be a long and potentially dangerous wildfire season. When there's extreme fire danger, Oakland and Berkeley fire crews and police patrol the hills to ensure no roads are blocked -- but there's been no need for that yet, said Coy Justice, an Oakland fire battalion chief.


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"The wind hasn't kicked up high enough for us to go into extreme yet," Justice said.

Nevertheless, Joe Parker, deputy chief of operations for the Santa Clara County Fire Department, said: "We're definitely bracing for what is going to be a really bad fire season."

Staff writers Robert Salonga and Natalie Neysa Alund contributed to this report.