PHOENIX, AZ (STL.News) As wildfires endanger lives and property in places like California, Oregon and Washington, Arizona is stepping up to send help. State agencies including the Arizona National Guard and the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management, along with local and federal response teams based in Arizona, are sending assets and manpower to aid in fire suppression efforts.
Here are some ways Arizona has responded:
Arizona National Guard
The Arizona National Guard last week mobilized approximately 30 citizen-soldiers to California from the 98th Aviation Troop Command in response to a request for wildfire fighting assistance. The Guard’s initial support will span approximately two weeks and includes three UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters equipped with wildfire suppression capabilities and specially trained air crews certified in wildfire response.
Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management
The Department of Forestry and Fire Management has sent 36 engines, six water tenders and two hand crews to California, Oregon and Colorado to assist on various incidents. In total, 227 personnel from Arizona are assigned on fires throughout the three states.
Due to the extreme demand for wildland firefighting resources throughout the west, the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management also sent two agency Battalion Chiefs to Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington to train some of their military personnel in wildfire suppression. Upon the training’s completion, the Department assigned the military members into two hand crews and mobilized them to California for fire assignments.
In addition to state assets, hotshot crews from the U.S. Forest Services also have mobilized in support of operations throughout the west and northwest.