Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Military Mobilizes to Help Fight Fires


by Mondoreb

In wartime, you call out the Army. And that's what's happening out west: the military is actively combating the raging fires burning in Southern California. The help includes military members from all branches, National Guard and active-duty alike.

More from CNN:
Dozens of Defense Department personnel are actively engaged in fighting the wildfires raging in Southern California, Pentagon officials said Tuesday, and thousands more National Guard and active-duty military personnel are available to help.

Paul McHale, assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense, said that 12 Defense Department firefighting teams, with 12 engines, are already working the blazes and more than 17,000 National Guardsmen are potentially available if needed.

In addition, he said, 550 Marines from Camp Pendleton are preparing to deploy to the fire area.

"All of the aid that we provide is the result of a request ... from the state," McHale said. "However, we have been very proactive in independently preparing those capabilities for the possibility of such requests, and we have reached out early to state officials."
Military bases are also being set up to handle evacuees. Sailors at some bases are being moved offshore to make room.

As the number of the displaced exceeds 500,000, the military is mobilizing and treating this as a war on fire.


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