Most recent, the La Brea fire is burning more than 87,000 acres north of Santa Barbara, and the 7,000-acre Lockheed fire has forced the evacuation of 2,400 residents in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
State officials claim that California wildfires have burned more than 100,000 acres since August 1.
David Sadeki, Santa Barbara County Fire Captain and Public Information Officer said that when aid is requested, strike teams are assembled and sent to the affected area.
Strike teams consist of five fire engines, a battalion chief and approximately 17 people.
Sadeki explained that Santa Barbara County, as well as the state, is part of a master mutual aid plan.
“We provide mutual aid to all,” Sadeki said. “If they need help, we send it.”
Responsibility for the costs associated with each wildfire depends on jurisdiction, Sadeki said.
Sadeki added that typically wildfires start in forests, move into the county and eventually spread into cities. For this reason, financial responsibility is also spread.
The La Brea fire is a four-service jurisdiction, Sadeki claimed.
The costs associated with affected regions are sent to that jurisdiction. For example, the portion of the La Brea fire in the San Rafael Forest would go to the US Forest Service.
In this instance, the US Forest Service is taking the lead.
“They are in charge,” Sadeki said.
When asked about emergency services, Sadeki said the county has adopted a reverse 911 service.
The county also depends heavily on the media to spread emergency information.
Sadeki communicated that a service is in the works that will send call alerts to people in county districts affected by an emergency. Notifications of a disastrous event will be sent at the click of a button to all residents in the affected district.
The La Brea fire is 75-percent contained, and the Lockheed fire 60-percent, as of Monday.
Louis Dettorre can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org