Ventura County Mudslide

Jim Arledge reports on the mudslides suffered by drought-ridden Southern California. Pummeled by a series of storms, Ventura County received over 24 inches of rain between Dec. 26 and Jan. 5.


Ventura County is located on the Southern California coast between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara counties. The mountains in the central and northern part of the county channel rain water into two rivers that in turn drain into the Pacific Ocean. During normal rainfall events, this ancient natural...


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The geologists believe that La Conchita will slide again. Once search, rescue and recovery operations ended, some of the residents whose homes were still habitable returned to La Conchita knowing full well the risks that lurk above their heads.

LA CONCHITA INCIDENT: OPERATIONAL RESOURCES

10 HAND CREWS

  • California Dept. of Forestry
  • Los Angeles County FD
  • Ventura County FD

20 ENGINES

  • Calif. Dept. of Emergency Services
  • Carpenteria FD
  • Oxnard FD
  • Santa Barbara City FD
  • Santa Barbara County FD
  • Ventura FD
  • Ventura County FD

7 FIRE DEPARTMENT URBAN SEARCH & RESCUE (US&R) TEAMS

  • Long Beach FD
  • Los Angeles FD
  • Los Angeles County FD
  • Montecito FD
  • Santa Barbara City FD
  • Santa Maria FD

1 LAW ENFORCEMENT SEARCH & RESCUE TEAM

  • Ventura County Sheriff

8 SEARCH DOGS

  • Anaheim
  • Calif. Dept. of Emergency Services
  • Los Angeles County
  • Montebello
  • Santa Barbara County
  • Ventura County Sheriff

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Ventura County Water Tender
  • Light-and-Air Unit
  • Geologists
  • Building and Safety
  • Heavy Equipment Specialists
  • Dozer Boss’

2 BULLDOZERS

  • Santa Barbara County
  • Ventura County

9 AMBULANCES

  • 6 Ground ambulances
  • 3 Air ambulances

PRIVATE HEAVY EQUIPMENT

  • 3 Bobcats
  • 4 Front-end loaders
  • 9 Excavators
  • 45 Dump trucks
  • 3 Tow trucks
  • 1 Water truck

LAW ENFORCEMENT

  • Ventura County Sheriff (8 security, 10 detectives)
  • Calif. Highway Patrol (12 patrol)
  • Coroner
  • Medical Examiner

7 CRITICAL INCIDENT STRESS MANAGERS

  • 5 Chaplains
  • 2 CISMs


Jim Arledge is a battalion chief and 26-year veteran with the Ventura County Fire Department. He assumed the rescue group supervisor position for the first operational period at La Conchita and functioned as operations section chief for night operations until rescue operations were discontinued. Arledge is currently assigned as an assistant to the department’s operations chief. He has a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Long Beach State University.