Spanish Fork - Answering the call for help for the fourth time in 2017, Utah County wildland fire crews left Spanish Fork at 6:00 am this morning to help fight the devastating wildfires burning out of control in Southern California.
The six-person crew along with one of the county's Urban Interface fire engines is scheduled to arrive in Ventura County late this afternoon. They are heading to Acton, California which will serve as a staging point before being directed to a final destination. Earlier this year Utah County crews were dispatched to Northern California as wildfires devastated Sonoma and Napa Counties as well as Central California.
California fire officials have also requested a second fire engine as county officials scramble to put together another team.
Wind driven fires are tearing through Southern California cities burning hundreds of homes and wreaking havoc in people's lives during this holiday season. The gusty winds driving the massive blazes are expected to last most of the week as officials urge communities under mandatory evacuation to leave their homes before it becomes too late.
Utah County officials are unsure where the team will be dispatched but according to Utah County Fire Warden Kevin Cortez they are happy the county will be able to help. He continued, "I'm surprised we are going so late in the season, our fire seasons seem to be getting longer each year. We know they appreciate the help and support as they battle another fire emergency."
Utah County's Urban Interface fire engines are unique. They are certified to go off road in treacherous terrain but also have the ability to fight structural fires as well.