Since last weekend’s extreme conditions led to the outbreak of fires throughout Southern California, the Santa Barbara County Fire Department has begun sending strike teams to help fight the flames in critically-hit areas to the South.
As of Wednesday afternoon, teams had been dispatched to the Witch and Harris fires in San Diego County, the Grass Valley Fire in San Bernardino County, and the town of Fillmore in Ventura County, bringing the total number of Santa Barbara County firefighters sent to other areas to 53. The Witch and Harris fires are currently the largest among those blazing through the South Coast, having burned almost 280,000 acres of land between the two of them.
The fire department’s dispatch is part of the State Master Mutual Aid Agreement, which distributes California’s firefighting resources according to the relative need of each county and ensures that every major fire is fought and contained as effectively as possible. The dispatched teams would normally make up our county’s extra firefighting resources, so all SBCFD facilities can continue to run at full capacity during their absence.