Utah firefighters heading to battle wildfires in Southern California

Danger and devastation await EMAC teams in Ventura County

WEST JORDAN (News4Utah) - Wind-whipped wildfires continue to destroy homes and cause evacuations in Southern California but help from Utah is on the way.

As the fires continue to rage, the Salt Lake Unified Fire Authority got an urgent request for assistance.

"When the call comes in to help, we need to go help," UFA Public Information Officer Eric Holmes said.

It's called EMAC for Emergency Management Assistance Compact. Eric Holmes says numerous Unified firefighters volunteered and now 18 are gearing up for deployment just like an EMAC team did before going to the Northern California fires in October.

"It's heartbreaking for the Californians and we don't want to go back because we know what it's going to look like when we get there," Holmes said Wednesday. "But we're glad to get the opportunity to help."

The UFA is sending six vehicles to California including a Type 3 wildland fire truck, a Type 6 wildland fire truck and three regular urban fire trucks.

On Thursday, those engines and a supervisor's truck will take the firefighters to Ventura County where danger and devastation await.

"The sheer magnitude is impossible to relay through a television screen or through your phone," Holmes said. "There's just no way to understand how hot, how smoky, how nasty, how destructive and how many people are displaced to this point."

That team and others from around the Wasatch Front are expected to leave from Provo Thursday morning at 7 and be in California for two weeks.


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