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Local News

Santa Barbara County Fire Sends Crews to Butts Fire in Lake, Napa Counties

Santa Barbara County is sending five brush firefighting engines and about 18 personnel to help with the Butts Fire in Lake and Napa counties.

Firefighters and a battalion chief left Wednesday evening and will travel through the night to join the 656 firefighters already on the scene, engineer Russ Sechler said.

Santa Barbara backfills staffing whenever mutual aid crews are sent out, so all of the 18 county stations stay fully covered and equipped.

The Butts Fire started midday Tuesday and reached 3,800 acres by Wednesday night and was 30 percent contained, according to CalFire, which is managing the incident. It’s located northwest of Lake Berryessa off Butts Canyon Road in Pope Valley.

County Fire already sent up someone to join the incident management team.

“We typically do send out one or two people for overhead,” Sechler said. “We’re very well-trained in brush fires and active in brush firefighting in this department and it’s very common for us to do this.”

Local crews frequently respond to other fires for mutual aid, just as other agencies come to help with Santa Barbara County fires. As the fire season progresses, fires will probably last longer as weather gets hotter, dryer and windier, Sechler said.

At home, the department is “always worried” about wildland fires, he said. “Our fire season never ends now; we’re always very, very vigilant.”

As of Wednesday night, the Butts Fire had destroyed one residence, damaged another and threatened 380 structures. There are multiple evacuation orders in effect and many resources on scene, including 57 fire engines, four tankers, seven helicopters, 12 dozers, three water tenders and 10 fire crews, according to CalFire.

Noozhawk news editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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