Firefighters from Utah are being called out to help battle the gargantuan wildfires that have torched hundreds of homes in southern California and forced more than 250,000 people to flee.
Four engines from Cedar City are on their way to help, and calls are being made to bring in people from Logan, Salt Lake City and elsewhere in the state.
"We're trying to get a hand crew. There's a hotshot crew we're talking to," said Susan Marzec with the Bureau of Land Management in Utah. "They're doing more calling. We're not done."
California leaders have pleaded for help from other states, but it's difficult to quickly assemble fire crews this time of year, since most of the wildland firefighters are back in school.
"They've put out a call, and the call goes nationwide for anyone who might be available," Marzec said Monday.
The California fires have been devastating, destroying hundreds of homes and prompting massive evacuations. Gale-force Santa Ana winds have fanned the flames, which have spread over 300 miles from Malibu to the U.S.-Mexico border.
Marzec knows first-hand how fast and dangerous these fires can be. Before moving to Utah, she lived in Orange County, Calif., for 20 years."We had an evacuation in our brand new house. The fire burned right up across the street. Ten years later we were evacuated, and then again," she recalled. "When the Santa Anas hit, there's just no stopping it."
E-mail: [email protected]