Oakland firefighters are sounding the alarm over a lack of proper equipment.
Fire officials said a fireboat the department has been requesting for years could have made a difference in a pair of waterfront fires that erupted over a three-day span.
"It would have given us more flexibility and more capability," Oakland Fire Department Deputy Fire Chief Mark Hoffmann said.
On Monday, a fire burned multiple boats at a dock in the Oakland Estuary. Fire crews were able to get the blaze under control at about 12:40 p.m.
Firefighters currently use waterboats, but warn a fire in the shallow Estuary or a full-blown ferry disaster may be pose a problem for the boats.
"The old boat is a full-displacement hull, so you can't get near mud flats without running around," Hoffmann said.
The city of Oakland does not have money to purchase a modern fireboat for the department. Repeated attempts to get a federal port security grant to pay for the new $1 million fireboat have failed.
Hoffmann said a 40-feet catamaran-style fireboat, lower to the water and much faster, would be ideal in quickly responding to oil spills. A modern fireboat would also be better for responding to a major ferry boat emergency or a commercial aircraft down in the water.
Hoffmann said his department can always request mutual aid, but added Oakland should have its own top-notch equipment.