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Santa Barbara County sends mutual aid to Woolsey Fire

Santa Barbara County fire crews are helping in fighting the Woolsey Fire in Ventura County.

“From Santa Barbara County we have a strike team of engines, we have a couple of mixed strike teams with engines where we team up with other departments, we have our helicopter out here, our bulldozers, and our hand crews as well," said Tim Gailey, Santa Barbara County Fire Captain.

As crews battle the flames through the smoke and wind, they can’t help but compare it to the Thomas Fire that happened nearly a year ago come December.

“Here we are in November fighting a very large fire and fast and rapid moving fire. Because of the Camp Fire in Northern California and the amount of area that his fire has covered, it has really stretched the California resources really thin in regards to fire services," said David Neels, Santa Barbara County Battalion Chief.

Crews including the Santa Barbara County's team have to work around the clock due to stretched-thin resources.

“I have to say this is the first time in my career. I went back today just to look at the amount of hours that we have been working before we got our first break," said David Neels, Santa Barbara County Battalion Chief."

"We responded to this fire on Thursday around 2 o’clock in the afternoon, and it was 53 hours before we finally actually got off the line, and that is nothing we try to do, but when there are lives at risk, property at risk and we just didn’t have enough resources with this extreme wind conditions, we had to stay engaged.”

During those hours crews have been on fire lines from Camarillo to Calabasas, and are now putting in work on the hillside near Point Mugu.

“Today we are hoping for more perimeter control, so we need boots on the ground and fire engines. We are all working together to get good containment all a way around this fire," Tim Gailey, Santa Barbara County fire Captain.

“I am really proud of all of the firefighters from Santa Barbara County that are here on our strike team, and I know all of the firefighters back on base camp that are getting a day off today, it has taken a lot of effort and everyone is definitely leaning forward and doing what we can as firefighters," said David Neels, Santa Barbara County Battalion Chief.

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