Local fire agencies are stepping up in an effort to fight wildfires throughout Northern California: Alameda County, Redwood City and San Bruno are just some of the departments helping to fight the Tubbs and Atlas fires in Sonoma and Napa counties.
The California Office of Emergency Services is helping to coordinate the response, said spokesman Shawn Boyd.
Boyd said Cal OES has agreements with city and county agencies to provide first responders in emergencies.
“We also have mutual aid agreements and assistance through the military, including Cal Guard and the Air National Guard,” he said. “Any time that we need to call on them for their resources, they’re there for us.”
The California National Guard is providing six helicopters to assist with medical evacuations and firefighting efforts.
Approximately 100 troops are also being deployed to assist local communities.
Officials at Cal Fire, the state’s fire agency, said they are also working closely with OES and have brought in strike teams from Southern California to help fight the fires. Boyd said these relationships are vital for getting a grip on the fires throughout the state.
“This is a critical moment right now for California and the mutual aid resources that we’re relying on to make sure that we stop this thing in its tracks,” he says.
The state has requested additional crews through the U.S. Forest Service. But for the most part the focus remains on obtaining help from within California.
While the state of emergency declared by Gov. Jerry Brown makes it easy to request assistance from other states, for now Cal Fire officials believe they have plenty of help at home.
Still, Vice President Mike Pence, at an appearance outside Sacramento, said, “I can assure you, as I did the governor, the federal government stands ready to provide any and all assistance to the state of California as your courageous firefighters and first responders confront this widening challenge.”