Thomas Fire in Ventura County Calls Away Culver City Firefighters
Martin Feinberg, Culver City Realtor, was interested to learn that Culver City’s Engine 41, along with four firefighters, is helping to fight the Thomas Fire in Ventura County this week. The Culver City engine was part of a strike team composed of units from the Santa Monica and Beverly Hills Fire Departments as well.
As of yesterday morning the strike team was mainly involved in structure protection for the City of Ventura.
The Thomas Fire is currently one of six large fires burning in Southern California. It started on December 4, has burned roughly 132,000 acres, and is around 10% contained. The other five notable fires burning right now are the Creek, Rye, and Skirball fires in Los Angeles County, the Lilac Fire in San Diego County, and Liberty Fire in Riverside County.
Due to the extreme fire activity, California is currently in a state of emergency, with mass evacuations ordered in some areas. State officials warn it could get worse before it get’s better.
According to Culver City Battalion Chief Rob Kohlhepp, another call came in Wednesday for the Skirball Fire in Bel Air. Culver City sent another four-man engine—Engine 42—and a Battalion Chief to that scene at that time.
Though Kohlhepp did not think the Bel Air strike team would be needed for very long, Engine 41 is expected to remain at the Thomas Fire through the weekend and possibly until the middle of next week.
Chief Kohlhepp was quick to point out that Culver City remains fully protected, despite the loss of a two engines. He reminded residents that events like this trigger implementation of “Red Flag Staff.” This means that extra staffing is called in to augment the regular staff, keeping the community safe.