SHERMAN OAKS (CBSLA) – A search and rescue team from the Los Angeles Fire Department is headed up to Northern California to assist in the search for victims of the devastating wildfires burning there.
Twenty-nine members who make up the LAFD Regional Urban Search and Rescue Task Force were departing from Sherman Oaks to Chico Tuesday morning, along with two human-detection canines, to help locate victims of the North Complex of fires.
“Our mission is to go up there with our equipment, specially trained personnel, and our canines, and search for people,” Assistant LAFD Fire Chief Wade White said.
“Our dogs will search through any kind of environment, whether its the rubble, whether it’s the ashes of a home, and they will detect the presence of human remains, which then allows the anthropologists and other agencies to hopefully be able to identify and bring closure to those families,” LAFD spokesperson Margaret Stewart said.
The North Complex has burned 264,000 acres east of Chico and is 39% contained. The fires started back on Aug. 18.
The fire has killed at least 15 people and destroyed 723 structures, according to the latest numbers from CAL Fire. More than a dozen people remain missing.
The cause is under investigation.