EMS Members Respond to California Fires
(Friday, December 8, 2017) While first responders continue dealing with raging wildfires in Ventura County and greater Los Angeles, new fires have ignited in San Diego County to the south.
IAEP National Representative Shelly Hudelson sent us the photos in the gallery from the area near her own home in northern San Diego County. She and her family have not yet been evacuated, but the fire is perilously close to her area. The fire is projected to move eastward towards Oceanside and the coast, so her neighborhood to the west may be spared.
At least 20 homes have now been destroyed in San Diego County by the “Lilac Fire” and as of Friday morning, December 8, Highway 76 was closed between I-15 in the town of Bonsall and College Boulevard in the town of Oceanside.
More, as of 7:00 AM PST:
- According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection’s Twitter account, the Creek fire north of Los Angeles is 40% contained after burning over 15,000 acres.
- The Thomas fire in Ventura County has ravaged 132,000 acres and is 10% contained.
- The Rye Fire in Santa Clarita County is contained 25% at 7,000 acres.
- The Los Angeles Unified School District has closed schools again, but meals are available at certain campuses: http://home.lausd.net/apps/spotlightmessages/1251
- Residents in northern San Diego are helping area horse farms relocate horses from ranches and stables near the fire to safer locations. In the most desperate situations, residents are helping farmers tag the horses’ bridles with contact information and releasing them to escape the encroaching flames when the spooked animals will not cooperate with human rescuers. This effort comes after at least 25 horses were killed in the fire when it reached a Bonsall training facility: http://fox5sandiego.com/2017/12/07/frantic-horses-run-loose-as-lilac-fire-threatens-bonsall-barn/
IAEP members and other first responders are answering the call to help residents in these devastated areas, and the jeopardy is far from over. We will bring you more information as it becomes available.
As of about 10:00 AM PST, Wednesday, December 6, wildfires continue to devastate parts of southern California, according to Los Angeles media outlets and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
In Ventura County, the “Thomas” fire has now claimed at least 65,000 acres and several hundred homes, but fire officials can’t make a more detailed estimate while the fire continues to burn with little or no control. Santa Ana winds are expected to continue making fires worse, with predictions of winds up to 80 MPH on Thursday, December 7. Members of IAEP Local R-12-805 with Gold Coast Ambulance in Oxnard have been called in to help evacuate residents.
Meanwhile, with the “Creek” fire burning a few miles north of Los Angeles near Sylmar, California has burned some 11,000 acres and is still raging. A new fire, dubbed the “Skirball” fire (named for the Skirball Center near its point of origin) started early Wednesday morning east of Interstate 405 just south of Highway 101, near the Bel Air neighborhood perhaps best known for its celebrity homes. Members of IAEP Local R12-187 working for AMR Los Angeles will be among the first responders helping residents in Los Angeles County.
[Note: graphic fire footage] A Twitter user with the handle @Coco Mayo posted this footage of her drive along the 405 not long after the fire began.
Please keep the first responders and residents of these areas in your thoughts. We will bring you more information as it becomes available.
Members of IAEP Local R-12-805 are among the many first responders answering the call for help in massive wildfires devastating the areas around Ventura, California. IAEP National Rep. Shelly Hudelson reported that Gold Coast Ambulance had put out a call for their EMS professionals to assist with evacuations.
The fire overtaking Ventura reportedly began Monday evening in a popular hiking area hear Highway 150. As of approximately noon PST on Tuesday, December 5, 2017, the fast-moving fire had burned some 45,000 acres of land, destroyed about 150 structures (including many homes), and forced at least 27,000 area residents to evacuate. Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency for Ventura County.
High winds and dry conditions are hampering firefighters’ efforts to slow the so-called “Thomas” fire, which is only one of two large wildfires in the region. (Another, known as the “Creek” fire, is centered near Sylmar, California.)
Thank you to the members of IAEP Local R12-805 and all the other brave first responders and public sector workers helping their neighbors in this catastrophe. We will bring you more updates as we get them.
Image Gallery (Click to enlarge images)