Local strike team assisting with southern California fires

Ventura Co., Calif — Oregon Fire Crews are in Southern California helping local crews battle the massive wildfires spurred on by the Santa Ana winds.

A Medford Fire-Rescue strike team is currently protecting structures near the Thomas Fire burning near the coast in Ventura County.

In an update Friday morning, the strike team says the fire has grown to more than 130,000 acres and is now 10-percent contained.

Extreme fire conditions and erratic winds are expected to remain through the weekend.

Battalion Chief Tom McGowan says the strike team arrived Wednesday night with resources to protect structures.

He says there are currently 15,000 homes threatened.

With a mixture of heavy winds and extremely dry conditions, the fire’s behavior is unlike anything he’s seen.

“The fire really doesn’t fall in line with a lot of the traditional education about how fire moves and spreads. It kinds of does whatever it wants whenever it wants to do it,” Battalion Chief McGowan said.

There are 75 engines from Oregon helping to fight the fire.

Battalion chief McGowan says the support and appreciation from the community helps them to continue their hard work

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