Firefighters are going on the offense and taking extreme measures to combat the raging wildfires in Southern California. Seven fires are blazing between Santa Barbara and San Diego, threatening not only woodlands but places where people live, some densely populated.
For now, winds have temporarily calmed down so this time is being used to try to contain the fires’ spread. Rincon Valley and Windsor Fire Protection District Fire Chief Jack Piccinini told the SF Gate, ““We’re taking advantage of the lull in the wind and we are going with a direct assault.”
Assault indeed. Check out this amazing video taken by California resident Jenny Crane’s father, as fire retardant was dropped on her father’s house during the Liberty Fire in Murrieta. He scuttled underneath the porch as the tanker dropped its massive load near the property to protect the house and create a fire line:
In the video, the resident jokingly says thank you for the free paint job! Everything on his property has a red hue … but hey, at least hopefully it will be safe from the fire. It is better to have a pinkish house than no house at all, I suppose. His truck didn’t fare much better. The force of the fire retardant appeared to break one of his truck’s windows. The massive DC-10 fire tanker can drop thousands of gallons of retardant in just one pass.
The Thomas Fire is said to be the largest of the seven fires. It is only 10 percent contained as of Dec 9th. Firefighters are building firebreaks and aircraft are dumping fire retardant on homes and buildings to hopefully save them from being scorched. Firefighters say the Santa Ana winds are unpredictable and can cause a fire to take an erratic path because they blow from east to west.
Mandatory evacuations have been ordered for some parts of Santa Barbara County as the fire grows closer. President Trump has declared a state of emergency. This is the second time that the West Coast was declared to be in a federal state of emergency. In October, 44 people were killed when wildfires tore through Northern California wine country.