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31 killed as wildfires rage in California

CNN's Nick Watt reports.

Posted: Nov 13, 2018 8:50 AM
Updated: Nov 13, 2018 9:14 AM

Last week, firefighters in southern California raced to save the lives of victims of a mass shooting. Just hours later, they sped off to battle two wildfires, several miles apart.

They're still on duty four days later, fighting the Woolsey fire in Ventura and Los Angeles counties, and the Hill fire in Ventura County, said Los Angeles Fire Department Capt. Frank Lima, a union leader.

"Those are two national news stories just on their own, let alone back to back right in the same footprint of ... 20 miles," Lima, a vice-president of the International Association of Fire Fighters, said in an interview on Monday. "That's tough, it takes a big emotional toll on you."

"And as you're processing it and you haven't come down, then you throw another brick on there. ... It gets a little bit heavier."

About 20 firefighters from two Ventura County fire stations spent hours triaging victims of the shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks late Wednesday.

Ian David Long, a US Marine veteran, opened fire there and killed 12 people, including Ventura County Sheriff Sgt. Ron Helus, before taking his own life.

Helus had been near the bar when the call came in, authorities said. He had been talking to his wife on the phone.

"Our members worked tirelessly on him to do everything they could to make sure he survived," Lima said.

By 6 a.m. Thursday, the Ventura County firefighters, who were among a battalion of firefighters who responded to the shooting, returned to their fire stations.

Hours later, Lima said he looked up from the parking lot of the Borderline bar and saw "the whole sky was loaded with smoke."

"And everybody just went," he said of the Ventura fire fighters.

The Woosley fire doubled in size in a 90-minute period Friday morning to 8,000 acres. By Monday, it was up to more than 91,500 acres, and was about 20% contained.

The Hill fire in Ventura County had torched about 4,531 acres, and was 75% contained Monday.

The Ventura firefighters haven't yet been able to turn their attention to their own homes, Lima said.

Lima, who has responded major national disasters such as September 11 and Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana, said the union offers offers counseling for the firefighters. Everyone process the stress of a crisis in different ways, he said.

"It's like grieving. Everybody has family members, and some are quiet and some cry. Some don't cry. Some want to be by themselves," Lima said.

A third fire in Northern California also continues to burn. At its fastest, the Camp Creek fire, which started early Thursday, spread at more than a football field per second, or 80 football fields per minute. By Monday, it had torched more than 113,000 acres, killed 29 people and virtually destroyed the town of Paradise. It was about 25% contained by Monday morning, according to the state firefighting agency Cal Fire.

Lima said he has talked to the firefighters who responded the shooting and the wildfires. They're tired, he said, but running on adrenalin.

"They've got a fire raging down their back," he said.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 224547

Reported Deaths: 2877
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah42425618
Washington28176259
Marion24842333
Clackamas20349243
Lane15401176
Jackson13240160
Deschutes1074187
Umatilla988394
Linn644882
Yamhill515882
Klamath498279
Douglas479594
Polk440457
Josephine438076
Malheur370967
Benton354822
Jefferson252842
Coos241040
Columbia213732
Union175924
Wasco160631
Lincoln159122
Crook144724
Hood River128934
Morrow125017
Clatsop123711
Baker116018
Curry86512
Tillamook7985
Grant5657
Lake4868
Harney46611
Wallowa2486
Gilliam881
Sherman872
Wheeler491
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4003787

Reported Deaths: 64620
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles131165624721
Riverside3112424667
San Bernardino3095025265
San Diego3011003805
Orange2856205146
Santa Clara1245862183
Sacramento1178311790
Kern1143421428
Fresno1057321746
Alameda980131290
Ventura845891046
Contra Costa78084836
San Joaquin776151461
Stanislaus666191097
Tulare50731854
San Mateo45255588
Monterey44651528
San Francisco41758565
Solano36525261
Santa Barbara36106469
Sonoma33414331
Merced33321485
Imperial29333746
Placer25624307
Kings23790251
San Luis Obispo22356267
Madera17220249
Santa Cruz16779207
Yolo15149215
Marin15039243
Butte13523205
Shasta13179242
El Dorado11312121
Napa1055282
Sutter10343127
Yuba712950
San Benito632664
Tehama592766
Lassen590526
Nevada568575
Humboldt535154
Mendocino485652
Tuolumne469173
Lake440866
Amador395348
Siskiyou259640
Glenn248127
Colusa238118
Calaveras235658
Del Norte174710
Inyo148238
Mono13395
Plumas7926
Modoc5767
Mariposa5377
Trinity4696
Sierra1370
Alpine910
Unassigned810
Medford
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