As the wildfire season ramps up, South Pasadena firefighters are finding themselves in the thick of it.
SPFD Chief Paul Riddle reported Tuesday that six of his personnel are at various blazes in the state.
“I am extremely proud of our firefighter’s commitment and durability!” said Riddle. “These past few months have been extremely challenging but they continue to perform at a very high level. The moral is high and they stay committed to carry out our mission of providing the highest level of customer service to this community and the region!”
South Pasadena’s Engine 81, with a crew of four, are currently assigned to the Lake Fire near Lake Hughes off Highway 5. As of Tuesday, fire officials say it is nearly 50 percent contained, has burned more than 20,000 acres or 30 square miles and destroyed at least a dozen buildings. More than 4,500 structures remain threatened by the fire, which erupted August 12. The local firefighters have been at the site for seven days and, according to riddle, and will likely be re-deployed to Ventura County to fight the “Hulser Fire,” burning near Lake Piru.
“They could be assigned another seven days,” said Riddle
Engineer Mike Larkin was deployed Monday night to the River Fire in Monterey County. The blaze, burning south of Salinas, as of Monday is 10% contained, engulfing more than 4,000 acres. Cal Fire reported that four firefighters have suffered heat-related injuries while battling the wildfire, which is expected to be fully contained by August 30. Riddle said Larkin could be assigned to the River Fire for 14 days.
SPPD Captain Daniel Dunn continues to be assigned to the Lake Fire in LA County as a fire line paramedic. He has been deployed for 14 days and is expected be released on Wednesday.
In addition, Engineer Anthony Corrao has returned to Southern California from the July Complex fire in Redding after being released last week. More than 1,400 personnel fought the fire.
While local firefighters find themselves in the field, Riddle said, “We have back filled the station and the department remains fully staffed. At no point has the city been unprotected. Just to confirm, the total cost of overtime is reimbursed back to the city for these deployments.”