SACRAMENTO -The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) has increased the activation levels of the State Operations Center and Inland Regional Emergency Operations Center to coordinate statewide response operations and support local cities and counties impacted by the Butte Fire currently burning in Calaveras and Amador counties.
More than 64,000 acres have burned so far in the area fed by extremely dry conditions, exasperated by drought and high brush in the area. Approximately 6,000 structures are currently threatened by the blaze.
“The residents in the area of this fire need to take this incident very seriously and listen to emergency services officials for potential warnings and evacuation or shelter-in-place orders,” said Cal OES Director Mark Ghilarducci. “The state will continue to provide and coordinate resources through our diverse and powerful mutual aid system to combat this dangerous situation.”
Already, Cal OES Fire and Rescue Division has dispatched 52 fire strike teams comprised of 260 fire engines to assist local communities and Cal FIRE crews on the scene. This mutual aid resource includes an additional 1,100 firefighters. These mutual aid fire teams come from every corner of the state, including Northern and Southern California and the Central Valley.
In conjunction with Cal OES, the California National Guard is providing troops and five helicopters to support firefighting operations, including four Type-1 and one Type-3 helicopters as well as 12 firefighting hand crews comprised of 240 specially trained soldiers.
“Fighting fires in support of Cal OES and Cal FIRE is an annual responsibility our soldiers and airmen train for passionately,” said Maj. Gen. David S. Baldwin, California’s Adjutant General. “On the ground and in the air, we are always ready to deploy at a moment’s notice to protect the citizens of this state from natural disaster.”
On Sept. 10, Cal OES requested and received a Fire Management Assistance Grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assist with fire response costs for agencies combating the Butte Fire. Today, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. proclaimed a state of emergency for Amador and Calavares counties due to the severity of the incident.