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SCV firefighters get 'all call' order

Posted: January 16, 2014 7:48 p.m.
Updated: January 16, 2014 7:49 p.m.
 

Extra firefighters and extra equipment were rolled out in the Santa Clarita Valley Thursday due in part to the Colby Fire in Glendora.

The “all call” order for staff and equipment came in shortly before 7 a.m. to Fire Station 150 in Canyon Country, headquarters for Battalion 22.

With a Red Flag warning for high fire danger extended through Friday evening, plus the Colby Fire drawing resources from throughout the Los Angeles County Fire Department, officials in the department’s central headquarters ordered the battalion that covers about half the Santa Clarita Valley to make “all of our reserve engines staffed, as well as the patrols,” said Battalion Chief Scott Salhus.

A similar order went to Battalion 6, which covers the rest of the Santa Clarita Valley.

The “all call” order means 19 additional firefighters were called in for the day, along with two additional engines, three additional patrols and a water tender — and that’s just for nine-station Battalion 6, said Capt. Gabe Huerta.

The practice ensures no repeat of the October 2007 situation, Huerta said, when resources from the Santa Clarita Valley had been deployed to fight a Malibu fire and then the fast-moving, wind-driven Buckweed Fire erupted, eventually charring 38,000 acres and destroying 21 homes in the SCV.

Salhus urged residents in high-fire-danger areas to be prepared to evacuate if a fire is anywhere near as the fall fire season extends into the winter.

“This is the fifth or sixth day of a Santa Ana event,” the battalion chief said Thursday. In addition to the drying desert winds, native plants are extraordinarily dehydrated due to prolonged drought, he said.

“This is one of the worst droughts we’ve had,” Salhus said. “If we don’t get rain soon, its’ going to definitely be a year-round fire season.”

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