Essex fire chiefs have criticised the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) over their 24-hour walkout which starts today.
Fire crews from across the county walked out on strike at 9am and will hold a rally in Admirals Park in Chelmsford.
Deputy Chief Fire Officer Adam Eckley said: “We should make no bones about it – this strike is not about cuts, it is about the FBU flexing its muscles at the expense of Essex firefighters and Essex communities.”
He added that working Essex firefighters will provide cover to the county with "strong resilience arrangements" in place.
The service expects it will have more than 40 appliances working.
Alan Chinn-Shaw, chairman of the Essex FBU, said: "No one wants to go on strike, we have only done so in what is a third year of continuing cuts in frontline services and imposition. Enough is enough.
"Strike action is a last resort and we are calling only short periods of lawful strike to limit the risks to the public whilst highlighting the very serious concerns of frontline professionals.
"Left unchallenged, the frontline cuts would hit public and firefighter safety 24 hours every day, 365 days a year."
The strike begins at 9am and will end at 9am on Thursday (July 19).
Essex fire service says members of the public should continue to dial 999 in an emergency.