Santa Barbara County is providing mutual assistance to Ventura County to help assist with evacuations and road closures due to several wildfires burning in Ventura County. The fires broke out less than 24 hours after a mass murder at a popular Thousand Oaks restaurant/bar, where the suspect killed 12 people including a 29-year veteran of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, Sgt. Ron Helus, before killing himself. The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office wants to provide as much support as possible to our partners and neighbors at the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office as they mourn the loss of their own and deal simultaneously with protecting their community members from the threat of wildfires.
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office and the Santa Barbara Police Department sent a combined total of 36 peace officers to Ventura County last night, November 8, 2018, to help with mandatory evacuations. The Sheriff’s Office and Santa Barbara Police Department sent a combined total of 26 peace officers this morning, November 9, 2018, and are prepared to send more personnel as needed.
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff/Fire Air Support Unit is also providing assistance to the critical air firefighting efforts. Last night, Copter 308, was deployed to conduct nighttime water drops. Copter 308 made numerous water drops overnight. Copter 308 is still assigned to the fire and will be prepared to fly again tonight if requested.
Ventura County has always been there to provide resources to Santa Barbara County throughout all of our major fires. The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office along with law enforcement agencies across the state are here to help see Ventura County through this crisis and show our support in whatever way we can.