Responding to emergency situations is a coordinated, regulated process for fire, medical and law enforcement entities, but it can sometimes cause confusion for those witnessing a fire.
Tuesday’s fire in Four Corners that destroyed a garage and attached an apartment, caused confusion among property owners and bystanders who said the closest fire station was not the first to respond to the scene.
Fire officials said this is because the county is drawn into 16 fire districts, which haven't changed much since the 1970's, and calls of emergency first go to stations in their district.
With the county as large as it is, fire officials said they have at least three different departments responding to every call.
“One fire district or department can't handle that type of event for the need for manpower, so we rely on mutual aide to staff those types of instances,” said Brian Nickolay, Rae Sourdough Fire Assistant Chief.
Tuesday's garage fire fell in the Rae Sourdough District, though another department has a station near where the incident occurred.
Nickolay said the Rae Sourdough Fire Department always gets mutual aid from Central Valley and Gallatin Gateway, especially in the Four Corners area.
Central Valley and Gallatin Gateway have stations in Four Corners.