(CBS SF) — Hundreds of California National Guard soldiers and airmen have been added to the fight against wildfires throughout the state, according to the Defense Department.
Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said Monday more than 440 National Guard personnel have been activated to help Cal Fire’s firefighting efforts.READ MORE: SF Citizen Detective Finds Her Missing License Plate on Identical Car Stolen From Another Resident
Along with the troops, the Pentagon has four Mobile Airborne Fire Fighting Systems (MAFFS) staged at McClellan Air Tanker Base near Sacramento.
The MAFFS are specially-equipped C-130 military cargo planes used to drop fire retardant on wildfire areas.
READ MORE: Meier Scores Franchise-Record 5 Goals As Sharks Rout Kings, 6-2
The military call-ups and MAFFS deployments are in support of the Boise, Idaho-based National Interagency Fire Center’s (NIFC) efforts to fight fires throughout Northern Calfornia, said Davis.
Also on Monday, the NIFC said it was mobilizing 200 active-duty soldiers from Washington to help in the firefighting efforts.
Troops from the Army’s 17th Field Artillery Brigade, 7th Infantry Division, from Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) in Washington will train this week and are expected to be sent to a wildfire yet to be identified by Sunday.
It’s the first time since 2006 the NIFC has mobilized active-duty military personnel to serve as firefighters.
MORE NEWS: COVID: Lower Levels Of Viral RNA In Wastewater May Signal Turning Point In Surge