By Jeff Todd

LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – As conditions in Southern California are expected to get worse with strong winds, about 50 firefighters from Colorado are headed to help.

A request for 50 strike teams was requested by California on Tuesday night for help from other states across the Western U.S.

A home is destroyed by brush fire as Santa Ana winds help propel the flames to move quickly through the landscape on Dec. 5, 2017 in Ventura, California. (credit: Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

A strike team is made up of 5 apparatus and a team leader.

(credit: West Metro Fire Rescue)

“Given the time of year, that’s what’s unusual and especially with the wind and the weather they have it’s just moving so fast and causing a lot of destruction and damage before they can even manage the fire,” Chief Vaughn Jones with the Colorado Division of Fire Protection and Control said.

OAKVIEW, CA – DECEMBER 5: Flames engulf a home as brush fire sweeps through the area threatening structures on December 5, 2017 in Oakview, California. (Photo by Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Jones works in the state office and works with a team to determine just how many Colorado teams can leave the state while keeping resources on hand for anything that could happen here.

(credit: CBS)

A total of 17 fire engines left Colorado on Wednesday. The state also sent one of its multi-mission airplanes to help in Ventura County near the most destructive fires.

The Thomas Fire in California has grown to over 26,000 acres with 0% perimeter containment, according to a tweet from the Ventura County Fire Department’s verified Twitter account. (credit: CNN)

“If their weather and fire activity continues they will make requests of the other states,” Jones said. “What do we have available and what are we willing to let go? At some point, there’s diminishing returns where we just don’t have the ability for folks to travel away from their home units that far for that long,” Jones said.

Below is a list of Departments that sent firefighters to California:

Wildfire Resources

– Visit’s Living With Wildfire section.

Wildfire Photo Galleries

– See images from the most destructive wildfires (Black Forest, Waldo Canyon, High Park and Fourmile), the deadliest (Storm King) and largest wildfire (Hayman) in Colorado history.

Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he’s been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.


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