South Bay firefighters fight ’round the clock to stop Ventura, Santa Clarita fires
by Kevin Cody
South Bay fire fighters fought for 33 unbroken hours to protect homes threatened by the Thomas Fire in Ventura County this week, Area G (South Bay) Strike Team coordinator and Manhattan Beach Battalion Chief Mike Boyd said Wednesday morning.
The Area G Strike Team sent five engine companies to the area Monday night at 10 p.m. Because of a shortage of firefighters, they were not relieved until Wednesday morning at 7 a.m., Battalion Chief Boyd said. Manhattan, Redondo and El Segundo each sent one engine company and Torrance sent two.
On Tuesday, Redondo and Torrance each deployed another engine company to the Rye Canyon Fire in Santa Clarita, Redondo Battalion Chief Isaac Yang said, Wednesday morning. Hermosa Beach had one engine company available for the Strike Force, but it had not yet been deployed, Hermosa Firefighter Captain Michael Garofano said Wednesday morning.
The Ventura fire had burned 65,000 acres and destroyed over 150 structures, as of Wednesday morning. Over 50,000 residents were advised to evacuate. The fire was zero percent contained.
The Rye Fire had burned over 7,000 acres and forced evacuation of 1,300 residents, but had not destroyed any buildings, as of Wednesday morning, when it was five percent contained.
Photographer Patrick Fallon, whose photos accompany this story, said he saw whole blocks of Ventura homes destroyed.
Off duty firefighters at the three beach city departments were called in to keep the departments fully staffed, spokespersons for the three departments said. ER
Thomas/Ventura, Rye Canyon/Santa Clarita photos by Patrick Fallon
by Kevin Cody
Kevin is the publisher of Easy Reader and Beach. Share your news tips. 310 372-4611 ext. 110 or kevin[at]easyreadernews[dot]com