Arizona Firefighters At California Wildfires See Similar Conditions To Slide Fire

Published: Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - 3:43pm
Updated: Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - 7:05pm

For the last few days, several dozen Arizona firefighters have battled back flames alongside California crews on the Woolsey Fire burning in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties.

Engine boss Phil Bruglio is the lead firefighter for the Sedona Strike team sent to Southern California.

As of Wednesday morning, firefighters had contained the about 47 percent of the wild fire, which has charred 97,620 acres, killed two people, injured three firefighters and destroyed more than 435 structures, including homes.

Another 57,000 buildings are in line of the fire.

Looking at the terrain and dry timber, Bruglio said the fire and conditions are very familiar to the situation his team faced in 2014.

"Oak Creek Canyon is not very different from some of the canyons and things that we're seeing out here," said Bruglio, referring back to the 21,000 acre Slide Fire.

High winds and low humidity are making the fire's containment unpredictable, which makes it difficult to know when the Arizona crew will come home.

He has noticed a few homes and buildings survived among the several hundred destroyed.

"Some folks said they are using goats in the hills," he said, "They'll put the animals into the area and let them eat the fuel, which works pretty well."

It wasn't clear, however, he said if a Firewise program encouraging property owners create defensible spaces was actively being followed in the communities.

If you like this story, Donate Now!