San Diego County fire crews head to Ventura County blaze

Crews from San Diego and around the county headed north Friday to assist on the wind-driven Hill Fire, rampaging out of control in Ventura County.

San Diego Fire-Rescue Department got the call for mutual aid Thursday night and crews left early Friday, spokeswoman Mónica Muñoz said.

Their initial deployment is for 10 days, but their return time is unknown, she said.

Also part of a strike team that left at 4 a.m. Friday were firefighters from Lakeside, Heartland, San Miguel, Viejas, Bonita, Alpine, Chula Vista, Poway and Rancho Santa Fe, according to tweets from several of the agencies.

Muñoz said San Diego Fire Chief Colin Stowell will decide when and if to send additional crews to other wildfires around California.

“The decisions to deploy firefighters take our staffing levels and needs into consideration,” she said.

San Diego County is under a warning for extreme fire danger because of high winds and low humidity in the region.

The Hill Fire broke out Thursday night in the Hill Canyon area of Santa Rosa Valley and grew overnight to 10,000 acres, with at least 1,200 homes evacuated in its path.

Camarillo Springs and Cal State Channel Islands were evacuated and, after flames jumped the 101 Freeway, that highway was closed.

A second blaze, dubbed the Woolsey fire, broke out in Simi Valley Thursday night and prompted evacuations of 30,000 people as homes burned. By Friday morning, an estimated 7,500 acres had been scorched.

pauline.repard@sduniontribune.com

Twitter: @pdrepard

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