U.S. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne and Acting Agriculture Secretary Chuck Conner have announced that additional Incident Management Teams are en route to Southern California to assist with containing the rapidly spreading wildfires. These teams are comprised of specialists from eight state and federal agencies who routinely work together in responding to disaster and wildfire emergencies.
"California's tremendous firefighters are not alone in fighting these fires," said Kempthorne. "The federal government, through the National Interagency Fire Center, has responded to all requests for assistance made by the State of California. Last night, I assured Governor Schwarzenegger, Senator Feinstein and other California leaders that the federal family stands ready to offer additional assistance if requested."
"I spoke with Governor Schwarzenegger yesterday and I am pleased that we can help California by lending our firefighters, equipment and aircraft which are the backbone for combating devastating wildfires," said Conner. "Our thoughts are with all of those affected by this disaster and we will continue to dedicate all available resources to contain these fires."
More than 2,000 members of the interagency wildland firefighting community mobilized through the National Interagency Coordination Center are engaged in a wide range of wildfire response efforts to several fires in Southern California. Requests for assistance through the National Interagency Fire Center began on Oct. 21 and firefighters and incident management teams were mobilized from across the country. These professionals come from across the spectrum of federal, state and local wildland fire organizations.
Since the Southern California wildfires started burning, the following resources have been deployed:
Because of the rapidly changing nature of these fires, it is likely that more teams and equipment will be deployed today.
The National Interagency Fire Center is the national support center for wildland firefighting. Federal and state agencies share firefighting supplies, equipment and personnel to facilitate efficient and cost-effective firefighting or disaster management.
Eight agencies coordinate and support wildland fire and disaster operations: U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service, U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Park Service as well as the National Association of State Foresters, the National Weather Service and the U.S. Fire Administration.
Additional information and updates about USDA and DOI Southern California wildfire response efforts are posted on the Web at http://www.usda.gov and http://www.doi.gov. For more information about the National Interagency Fire Center go to http://www.nifc.gov.
Cite This Page: