San Diego

San Diego Crews Headed to Battle Los Angeles-Area Wildfires

The SDFD said the decision to send aid to the Los Angeles-area wildfires was made with San Diego's staffing levels in mind

San Diego-area firefighters are being sent north to aid crews battling two destructive wildfires that tore through the hillside between Los Angeles and Ventura counties on Thursday before spreading to communities overnight. 

The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department received a request for aid overnight and crews were ready to go within hours to fight the Hill Fire, which was burning in Newbury Park.

"These requests can come at any time of the day or night and crews typically have a very short period of time to prepare and get on the road," SDFD spokesperson Monica Munoz said.

Crews would stay for at least ten days but there is the possibility that their deployment time could be extended depending on the behavior of the two fires, Munoz said. 

A Chula Vista Fire Department engine and a Chula Vista-based Office of Emergency Services team would also be deployed to battle the Hill Fire, a CVFD battalion chief said. 

The Carlsbad Fire Department would also be sending crews north but had not yet determined the exact resources they would send.

Burning about five miles from the Hill Fire was the massive Woolsey Fire. Combined, the two fires had forced about 75,000 homes to be placed under evacuation orders and had burned about 8,000 acres each by Friday morning. 

Munoz said the decision to send aid to the Los Angeles-area wildfires was made with San Diego's staffing levels in mind. 

San Diego County was under a Red Flag Warning Friday due to weather conditions that had the potential to spark and rapidly spread wildfires, according to the National Weather Service. 

SDFD had increased staffing levels on Thursday due to the warning. Additional crews and two firefighting helicopters would be available for any fire that breaks out during this period.

During a Red Flag Warning period, the combination of low humidity, hot temperatures and gusty winds creates critical fire conditions. 

Fall is historically one of the most dangerous times of the year for wildfires in California. Seven of the state's 10-most destructive wildfires occurred in October -- many fueled by monster winds, including Santa Ana gusts.

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