Wildfire transforms Soule Park into base of operations

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Rows of tents await tired firefighters at Soule Park Monday. (Ojai Valley News photo by Bill Warner)

Bill Warner, Ojai Valley News reporter
Soule Park was temporarily closed to the public Monday when it assumed its new role as the official incident command post (ICP) for the various agencies battling the Chorro Fire. Virtually a mobile village of firefighters and support teams, the "fire camp" provides a setting in which officials can figure logistics and plan strategies and where crews from the fire line can find much-needed rest.
"Most people don't think about where firefighters eat or bathe," said Bill Barbis, unit manager for the Tucson-based Latitude Catering, one of the first contractors to arrive in Soule Park Monday morning. "They put in 10 to 12 hours per day out there on the line, so when they come in at the end of a hot day, food and showers are a big deal."

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