"There has not been an impact, budgetwise, on our ability to fight the fires," Cal Fire Battalion Chief Julie Hutchinson said.
Hutchinson, of Cal Fire's Riverside County unit, and spokesman Bill Peters, of the San Bernardino County unit, both said budget cuts have not limited the number of firefighters or equipment that commanders are able to send to the fires.
"They (budget cuts) really didn't affect this area. We get two new fire engines that we purchased last year. Our staffing is the same," Peters said.
In San Bernardino County, firefighters from Cal Fire and other agencies are battling the Oak Glen and Pendleton fires.
Cal Fire, like other state agencies, had its budget cut in late July when Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a budget revision made necessary by California's deficit problems.
The deepest part of the $27 million slashed from Cal Fire's budget was $17 million in delayed equipment replacement.
The July budget cuts also included a $7 million move to cancel Cal Fire's contract for a DC-10 air tanker. However, Hutchinson said that decision has been at least temporarily reversed.
Hutchinson said Cal Fire now has access to the DC-10 under a 90-day emergency contract that is set to expire in mid-November. The contract is for $4.6 million.
The DC-10 - able to drop
The 747 tanker - able to carry 24,000 gallons of retardant - costs $590,000 for a five-day mission. That amount does not include the fire retardant or jet fuel.
Hutchinson said a high- capacity jet tanker is not appropriate for all situations but can be "a huge assistance" when firefighters cutting line on the ground need a large amount of fire retardant. The decision to use the costly aircraft lies with incident commanders coordinating the attack on a wildfire.
San Bernardino County spokesman David Wert also said the county Fire Department's response to fires has not been affected by the year's budget issues.
"The county, for the most part, held public safety harmless," Wert said.
Wert said the county has an $8 million contingency fund on hand in case a major disaster stretches the county's ability to pay for emergency response.