San Diego

San Diego Team to Return from Camp Fire Search & Rescue

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

A San Diego search and rescue team is heading home after spending a week supporting crews on the ground of a devasting wildfire in Butte County that was finally fully contained on Sunday. 

The San Diego Urban Search & Rescue California Task Force 8 (CA-TF8) team, which, for this mission, consisted of 37 members from fire agencies across the county, is scheduled to arrive in San Diego on Tuesday. 

While in Northern California, the team was part of the effort to search through the rubble for victims of the Camp Fire, which consumed more than 133,000 acres of land and took the lives of 88 people before it was fully surrounded on Sunday. 

The team -- made up of crews from the Chula Vista, San Marcos, Santee and Heartland fire departments -- left for Butte County on November 19 and spent their time searching through the rubble in towns like Paradise, California, one of the towns most widely affected by the Camp Fire. 

David Gerboth, a San Diego Fire-Rescue firefighter and the team's battalion chief, wrote in a Facebook post that it was hard to describe the loss they were seeing in Paradise.

"It is difficult to put into words the scope of the devastation in and around Paradise. Along with the loss of over 12,000 residences, the impact to commercial property is overwhelming. For the most part, the entire town of Paradise has been destroyed," the message read just days after the team's arrival. 

A doctor from Sharp Memorial Hospital and an engineer from the city of San Diego also supported the search and rescue team. 

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