Northern California Firefighters Helping in Ventura County

SACRAMENTO -- Hundreds of firefighters from Northern California are helping battle the wildfires in Ventura County, and more are on the way.

Several strike teams rendezvoused in Galt on Tuesday morning before heading south. Southern California crews need the help.

"They're talking about this fire potentially burning all the way to the ocean," said Sacramento Fire Department spokesman Chris Harvey before heading down. "So obviously they want to get as many resources down there as quickly as possible."

Even with resources heading south, your local fire station will still be fully staffed, said Metro Fire Captain Chris Vestal. Firefighters will be working overtime and extra shifts.

"One of the things that we do in this whole Sacramento region is we always do back fill," explained Vestal.

Vestal points out, while we never want to let our guard down, fire danger has been significantly reduced in Northern California over the past several weeks because of rain and Sierra snow. In contrast to Southern California, the ground up north is moist and new grasses are springing up.

"In Southern California, without the precipitation, there's been no new growth and no live fuel returning to the area," added Vestal. "So all they have is dry fuels."

"We don't want to even use the words 'fire season,' said Cal Fire spokesman Scott McLean. "Southern California no longer has that season. And Northern California is following suit."

The experts say it's not too soon for property owners to clear all combustible material away from homes in preparation for the 2018 fire season.

McLean points out, the impacts of drought are still widespread: "Especially the trees. We're dealing with over 102 million dead trees in the State of California. The result of the drought."

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