The massive Sand Fire burning in Southern California has numerous engines from the Central Coast called to the front lines as part of a mutual aid agreement. Some firefighters have also been called out to the Soberanes Fire in Monterey County.
As some point, when the “drawn down” reaches a critical level, no other engines or personnel will be available and other agencies will be called upon.
“We have 16 stations we don’t ever close a station. Many of them have two engines,” said Captain David Zaniboni with Santa Barbara County Fire.
“Once we get to a certain number of draw down, and we are close to that now, we don’t let anyone else go out to assignments out of the county. We need the people back here in case something happens here.”
The Santa Barbara County Fire Department says four strike teams or 20 engines are out of the area, three at the Sand fire. They are often out for 14 days before they are given a break and released.
Captain David Zaniboni says the county engines, will be on a team with other area agencies, and, for example, one is connected with Santa Barbara City and the Carpinteria-Summerland Fire protection district.
The local firefighting aircraft has not been assigned out of the area and remains ready to respond in Santa Barbara County.
The mutual aid system helps agencies that are unable to respond to a large scale incident on their own. The California response plan is considered the best in the nation.