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California forest fires. Photo by United States Department of Defence.
04 Sep 2022

California wildfire crew pulled back to protect firefighters after 7 were injured by the heat

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The No. 1 threat right now is to our firefighters. We want to back off the intensity a little bit.

A "monster fire" was reported by Los Angeles Times on Thursday in La County: In less than 24 hours the so called "Route Fire" had destroyed more than 5000 acres near Lake Castaic. 

The wildfire started Wednesday afternoon and by Thursday night it had already involved 5208 acres.

According to Tom Fisher, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard, temperatures in the area was 111 degrees Fahrenheit (43,8 C) and the heat was severely affecting the fire crews battling the fire. 

After seven firefighters had to be treated for heat stroke, officials took the unusual step of pulling back some of the firefighters on the front lines. 

According to the article in LA Times, the order to pull back, was to reduce the risk to firefighters tackling the most grueling tasks as temperatures soared. Instead, crews would focus on an aerial assault:

“It’s a tactical pause for the crews that are experiencing the greatest heat impact,” Los Angeles County Deputy Fire Chief Thomas C. Ewald said. “We’re just trying to reduce the strain being placed on line firefighters....the No. 1 threat right now is to our firefighters. We want to back off the intensity a little bit.”

 Photo Credit: Generic photo of a California forest fire. This photo is not related to the Route Fire. California forest fires. Photo by United States Department of Defence.