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Federal agencies sending help for California wildfires

Efforts by federal agencies to assist Southern California officials struggling with devastating wildfires.


More than 2,000 members of the interagency wildland firefighting community have been mobilized. The following resources have been deployed:

• One area command team (five people per team) to provide communication and coordination assistance for several fires.

• Four type-one incident management teams (20 people per team) to establish an effective firefighting organization and develop the tactics and strategies for containment.

• 31 crews, including 25 elite firefighter hot shot crews specially trained to handle difficult and extreme incidents.

• 90 fire engines with support from 22 strike teams (110 people total for strike teams) to work directly on fire lines.

• 11 water tenders, which support the fire and aviation activities.

• 11 heavy air tankers to support the ground firefighters in attacking fires.

• 14 medium and heavy helicopters to assist the ground firefighters with strategic pinpoint drops on identified areas of the fire.

• Six bulldozers to establish the line to halt further spread of the fire.


• About 100 defense employees, including active duty military personnel and civilians, are fighting fires. That's 12 firefighting teams — mostly civilian — and their 12 fire engines.

• Some 1,500 Army National Guard and Air National Guardsmen are helping firefighters — not on the fire lines, but doing other tasks to free up the firefighters.

• 550 Marine Corps personnel at Camp Pendleton, Calif., are preparing for possible firefighting duty.

• Another 17,301 National Guardsmen are available in California, if needed.

• Six C-130 aircraft fitted with firefighting systems are being sent to Point Mugu, Calif. Two are from the Air Force Reserve at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colo., and four are from the Air National Guard in Wyoming and North Carolina. They were to arrive in California in time to begin flying missions Wednesday morning.

• 11 Pentagon helicopters equipped with water buckets are available to help in fire suppression.

• Local military bases, under emergency assistance authority, provided some 10,000 cots to local evacuation sites.


• FEMA has established a distribution center in Northern California with water, meals, cots and blankets.

• The agency has sent a liaison to the state emergency operations center to collect information on the fires and filter state requests for resources.