Cal Fire specialist from SLO County to help map Gulf Coast oil spill

Joe Larson, a Cal Fire mapping specialist from San Luis Obispo County, traveled to Florida on Saturday to help track the spread of oil in the Gulf of Mexico.

Emergency officials in Florida requested assistance last week through state and federal agencies, according to Cal Fire.

Larson’s duties at Cal Fire include mapping fire perimeters and updating emergency response areas. In Florida, he will lead the technical services branch with that state’s emergency operations center, according to Cal Fire.

He is expected to stay in Florida for at least two weeks.

“I am proud of Cal Fire’s worldwide reputation in superior disaster response and emergency management,” Chief Del Walters, director of Cal Fire, said in a statement Saturday. “Florida sent resources to California during the 2008 lightning fire siege, and this opportunity is allowing us to return the favor.”