Active-Duty Army Engineers Being Sent to Fight California Wildfires

Cheryl Sanders
August 7, 2018

The global fire teams were to arrive in Redding, California, on Monday, said Cal Fire Director Ken Pimlott.

The fire has burned over 160,000 acres of land, and was 43 percent contained on Sunday evening, according to CAL FIRE.

"We feel like we're doing pretty good above Lucerne and Nice, but there is still a lot of potential, and we're using a lot of aircraft to hold (the fire) in place", he continued.

The disaster declaration that Trump approved for California on Sunday makes available federal funding to state, local and tribal governments "on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the fix or replacement of facilities damaged by the wildfires and high winds in Shasta County".

He was the seventh person killed in that blaze, which has scorched more than 64,750 hectares in the scenic Shasta-Trinity region north of Sacramento.

While no casualties have yet been reported, the fires which have been raging throughout Northern California since July 27, have already destroyed 75 residences and are now threatening another 11,300 structures.

More than 3,700 firefighting personnel are battling the Mendocino Complex, one of about 17 wildfires burning in the state.

The Mendocino Complex, which has destroyed 75 homes and forced thousands to flee, is the largest of eight major wildfires burning out of control across California, prompting U.S. President Donald Trump to declare a "major disaster" in the state.

Another major wildfire is tearing through California and it's growing at a phenomenal pace.

"We have strong, erratic winds and what that's doing is blowing embers and it's spreading the fire", Capt. Thanh Nguyen, a spokesman for a Southern California fire department who's acting as spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire, said Monday.

Jairus Ayeta worked as an apprentice lineman for Pacific Gas & Electric and died in a vehicle-related incident near the Carr Fire in Shasta County on Saturday, spokeswoman Melissa Subbotin said.

"Unfortunately, they're not going to get a break anytime soon", National Weather Service meteorologist Brian Hurley said of firefighters who had cut buffer lines around 30 per cent of the blaze as of Monday.

In December, Governor Jerry Brown said devastating wildfires fuelled by climate change had become "the new normal". "It is being diverted into the Pacific Ocean", Trump wrote.

The other fire that makes up the "complex" is the River Fire west of Clear Lake.

A CalFire spokesperson, Marco De Anza, said the fire highlighted the need for a more comprehensive fire strategy, which could help communities in northern California stay safe in a time of prolonged drought and hotter days.

Another blaze that ignited last week has damaged a historic Northern California resort in the Stanislaus National Forest.

The fire comes as California firefighters continue to struggle to contain the deadly Carr Fire to the north of the Mendocino Fires.

Other reports by iNewsToday