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Central Coast fire, law enforcement agencies send resources to Hill, Woolsey fires

Agencies along the Central Coast are sending dozens of firefighters to help fight the flames in Ventura and Los Angeles counties.

“We’re all there, in for the long haul,” said CAL FIRE Public Information Officer, Clint Bullard. “Right now we have about 150 people all from fire departments throughout San Luis Obispo County [dispatched across the state]. We’ve got dozers out, we’ve got troops on the ground with engines, we’ve got hand crews and we’ve got the aircraft.”

Santa Maria firefighters are also lending a hand at the Hill and Woosley fires.

“This is just building so the need is really big right now and there’s a lot of requests going out and we try to fill them as they come in,” explained Battalion Chief Thomas Crakes of Santa Maria Fire.

Crakes said an engine with four men left to Southern California on Thursday night.

“Four people is usually what staffs a brush truck or an engine and that is what normally goes out.”

Fire officials also talked about the challenges they’re up against.

“It’s a steep hilly terrain -tough terrain to get in and out of,” said Bullard.

“Lot of times the [mutual aid] request will come in at two in the morning,” shared Crakes. The Battalion Chief said waking up personnel and rushing them out the door can consume time.

These agencies stressed they’re also standing guard locally should a fire break out in the Central Coast.

“We have crews coming in and backfilling, people coming in off duty, from vacation, from days off,” explained Bullard.

The Arroyo Grande Police Department and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office also sent out officers and deputies to help with evacuations at the scene of the Woolsey fire.

Santa Barbara County Fire personnel has been dispatched to the Hill fire and the Woosley fire, too.

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