SLO County firefighters helping battle Thomas Fire

125 firefighters battling fire in Ventura County

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - As the Thomas Fire continues to rage on in Ventura County, hundreds of firefighters from around the state have joined forces to battle the massive blaze that has burned thousands of acres.

Among the crews on scene are more than one hundred from San Luis Obispo County.

"Approximately 15 engines and 125 personnel have been sent down south to fight the fire in Ventura County," said Cal Fire San Luis Obispo County public information officer Clint Bullard.

Those numbers include personnel and equipment from Cal Fire San Luis Obispo County, as well as various city agencies.

"Camp Roberts, San Miguel, Paso Robles, Atascadero, San Luis Obispo City Fire, Five Cities Fire Authority and Cal Fire San Luis Obispo County," said Bullard.

The mutual aid response from the county agencies is standard practice and does not affect the ability to fight a fire here should one break out.

"At no time will we go below a minimum draw down on engines and personnel," said Bullard. "Should the need arise to send additional equipment down south, we have contingency plans in place to bump crews, dozers, you name it, engines from the north part of the state down to here."

He adds resources that traditionally have been moved due to seasonal demands have remained in the area.

"We were able to keep a few of our resources on, engines that would have normally been down-staffed as we leave the summer season. They were kept on in anticipation for this type of weather," Bullard said. "Aircraft throughout the north part of the state have been bumped down to the south part because they received quite a bit of rain up there, so the air resources are there."

Just like in Ventura County fire conditions along the Central Coast are very similar, including bone dry brush, high winds and low humidity.

Together, the elements all add up to a very dangerous combination.

"Right now we're in a high fire danger," said Bullard. "We have not received a significant amount of rain. We could see something like that happen. Be prepared."

With conditions ripe for a similar fire on the Central Coast, Bullard stresses people should take precaution.

"Know where you're at. Know what's going on in the area that you're living and take the time and look around your place today. Have you taken the time to create that defensible  space around your structure? 100 feet required by state law," said Bullard.

Bullard adds local crews will stay in Ventura County as long as the need remains.

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