The Gulberson fire broke out on Tuesday, and is currently being battled by 600 firefighters. The fire is expected to grow to 10,000 acres today.
Local officials in Southern California seem to be faced with the same dilemma every throughout the hot months – wildfires.
When PublicCEO reported on summer fires in late August, state officials claimed that California wildfires had burned more than 100,000 acres since August 1.
The story then focused on the La Brea fire, which was burning more than 87,000 acres north of Santa Barbara, and the 7,000-acre Lockheed blaze that had forced the evacuation of 2,400 residents in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
David Sadeki, Santa Barbara County Fire Captain and Public Information Officer said then 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 went to the US Forest Service.