LA County sheriff's employees deployed to help battle Calif. wildifires
About 22 Sheriff’s Department employees will be helping with evacuations, security and traffic control
By Brenda Gazzar
Daily News, Los Angeles
LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deployed nearly two dozen employees to Santa Barbara County early Sunday morning, Dec. 17, as firefighters continued to try to control the massive Thomas fire burning there and in Ventura County, the agency announced.
The deployment was in response to a mutual aid request made by the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), according to Sheriff’s Department Deputy Kimberly Alexander.
“This was the first request made to the L.A. County area for mutual aid to be sent to Santa Barbara County for the Thomas fire,” Alexander said.
About 22 Sheriff’s Department employees will be helping with evacuations, security and traffic control, she said. Scores of employees from other agencies in Los Angeles County have also been deployed to the area.
“We want to help out our partners — just like when we had our fires in the last few weeks, we were all helping each other,” Alexander said, referring to the recent Creek, Skirball and Rye fires in Los Angeles County. “To be able to go up and help Santa Barbara, we’ll do everything we can.”
The Thomas fire, which had scorched 269,000 acres as of Sunday, is now one of the largest in California history. It has destroyed more than 750 homes and more than a dozen commercial structures.
Over the weekend, there were mandatory evacuations around unincorporated Montecito in Santa Barbara County and neighboring Summerland.
A California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) firefighter from a San Diego unit, Cory Iverson, was killed Thursday while fighting the blaze.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
©2017 the Daily News (Los Angeles)