Lake Tahoe firefighters head to Southern California to help with wildfires
About two months after wildfires erupted in Northern California, the southern part of the state finds itself dealing with destructive and fast-moving blazes.
More than 15 engines, making up three strike teams, were deployed from the Tahoe Basin Operational Area Tuesday to assist with the Thomas Fire in Ventura County. The blaze started Monday when ferocious winds whipped the fire into a frenzy and forced hundreds to evacuate.
A Tuesday morning estimate pegged the number of destroyed structures at 150, although more were seen burning during the day. The fire was estimated to be 78 square miles as of Tuesday afternoon.
Area engines assigned to the numerous strike teams deployed include: Tahoe Douglas Fire, East Fork Fire, Truckee Fire, North Tahoe Fire, Lake Valley Fire, Truckee Meadows Fire, Sparks Fire, Amador Fire, Mule Creek Fire, North Lake Tahoe Fire, Carson City Fire, South Lake Tahoe Fire, Central Lyon County Fire, and Fallen Leaf Fire.
It’s possible more resources could be called to the southern part of the state.
A fire in the Lakeview Terrace and Sylmar neighborhoods of Los Angeles reportedly expanded to 17 square miles Tuesday afternoon while another near the city of Santa Clarita stood at 1.5 square miles.
California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for Ventura County Tuesday, saying the fire is very dangerous and residents must be ready to evacuate if told to do so.
Brown’s declaration sets in motion state firefighting assistance to local governments and suspends rules that might hinder recovery efforts after the fires are put out.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.