The Santa Barbara County Fire Department is at 100% and ready to go as fire danger looms around every corner.
Santa Barbara County Firefighters are providing support from Sonoma to Los Angeles and crews are ready to go here at home.
The Santa Barbara County Fire Department has been up-staffing the last couple of days as we deal with this heat.
“October is the hottest month of the year we get the Santa Anna winds down canyon and the sundowner winds in our area and it’s problematic because that’s the time of year all the vegetation is cured, it’s dried out, it’s expired, it’s explosive ready to burn,” said Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department Public Information Officer.
Fire officials say you can have all the resources in the world working a blaze but once the wind takes hold of those embers there’s only so much you can do.
“People need to realize the fire front is not going to take your house what’s going to take your house is that ember wash well ahead of the flame front,” said Eliason.
We’re seeing the devastation of those wind-driven wildfires as we speak with the Tick Fire.
“We have a fire down in Santa Clarita, Los Angeles County. We have a Mixed Type III which is the larger brush engine of fire engines from throughout Santa Barbara County, Santa Maria, Lompoc, Vandenberg, Carp Summerland, Montecito, and the city are down there,” said Eliason.
With command-level personnel up in Sonoma and SLO County resources in the Santa Maria Vally, there’s even more crews standing by.
“We have a task force of county resources, we have three engines and water tender that are in the Santa Ynez Valley and we’re fully staffed right now,” said Eliason.
Eliason calls the mutual aid system a masterpiece of cooperation. “That’s the way it works, we send people when they need us and then when we need them they return the favor,” he adds.
We can only hope that we won’t have to call that favor in anytime soon.
Fire officials stress the importance of paying attention to our weather conditions and creating a defensible space around your home because those embers can do serious damage in a wind event.