Nearly a week into the devastating wildfires that have burned more than 250,000 acres across five counties, out-of-state resources continue to pour into California. More than 150 engines from neighboring western states have responded to the state’s request for additional assistance to fight six significant wildfires in Southern California.
Washington joined a growing list of states to send resources, deploying a total of 10 engines. Previously, Oregon deployed 15 strike teams (75 engines), Montana provided one strike team and two task forces (16 engines), Idaho sent two task forces (10 engines), New Mexico deployed one task force (5 engines) and Utah committed 31 engines. Also, Nevada sent five engines through an interstate compact.
The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), which requested 50 engine strike teams (250 engines) from eight states via the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), is coordinating and collaborating with other states for additional resources.
Firefighters continue to battle blazes throughout the southern region of the state, including the Thomas (Ventura County/Santa Barbara County), Creek (Los Angeles County), Rye (Los Angeles County), Skirball (Los Angeles County), Lilac 5 (San Diego County) and Liberty (Riverside County) fires.
Early in the firefight response, more than 1,200 soldiers and airmen from the California Army National Guard (CalGuard) were staged in their armories across Southern California to forward deploy if needed in support of the wildfires. Additionally, the CalGuard has deployed two Modular Airborne Firefighting Systems (MAFFS) C-130J models activated to perform aerial firefighting operations in Southern California, four Type I helicopters with water dropping buckets and a remotely piloted aircraft and RC-26 to support infrared imagery and perimeter mapping.
The State Operations Center is activated to coordinate resources in support of communities being affected by the fires. State, local and federal agencies are working together around the clock to support emergency management efforts and provide all the necessary resources
Cal OES has coordinated mutual aid resources of 2,700 firefighters, 611 engines and a total of 117 strike teams and task forces (24 Cal OES strike teams/task forces, 93 local government strike teams/task forces).