A Palm Springs Fire Department battalion chief left Tuesday to assist crews battling a series of lightening-caused fires in the Bay Area.

The battalion chief, who is one of four at the department, will be assigned to the Deer Zone Fire, which is burning southwest of Brentwood in Contra Costa County, according to Palm Springs fire Capt. Nathan Gunkel.

It’s one of 20 separate wildland fires that make up the SCU Lightning Complex, which sparked collectively about 4 a.m. Sunday, and have charred 25,000 total acres as of Tuesday morning, according to Cal Fire, which said the blazes were burning at a “dangerous rate of speed” within inaccessible terrain amid triple-digit temperatures.

The Palm Springs battalion chief, whose name was not released, left the Coachella Valley about 10 a.m. and will be acting as a safety officer once on scene, Gunkel said. He will be gone for up to two weeks, Gunkel said.

A safety officer is responsible for being on the lookout for any unsafe behavior exhibited by firefighters, inspecting equipment, ordering repairs for equipment deemed unsafe, along with other responsibilities, Gunkel said.

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