Md. Dispatches Two Additional Crews To Battle California Wildfires

ANNAPOLIS (July 22, 2008)—The Maryland Forest Service today dispatched two 20-person Type 2 Initial Attack crews to Redding, Calif., where they will be assigned to active fire incidents or made available to local ranger districts for initial attack on new fire starts. The crews include 14 Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) personnel, 18 members of the Maryland Fire Service, and personnel from the Maryland Department of Agriculture, the Resource Conservation & Development Service, Alleghany College, Garrett Community College, and the National Civilian Conservation Corps. All are certified wildland firefighters.

The Maryland crews traveled from the Madonna Ranger Station in Jarrettsville last night to a mobilization center in Harrisburg, Penn., where they joined a third 20-person crew from New Jersey. The three crews, which were ordered by the Northern California Operation Center on a preposition order, left from Harrisburg International airport by charter jet this morning for Redding. They may be assigned anywhere in Northern California after arrival.

“Firefighters in California have been battling multiple fires all summer long; with this team, we hope to provide some relief and extra help for their crews,” said Maryland Forest Service Director Steve Koehn.

“The courage and selflessness of our Maryland personnel has never ceased to amaze me. Their willingness to see beyond themselves, leave their homes and families, and bravely assist their brethren on the fire lines out west is to be commended by every Marylander who benefits from the protection of these brave men and women,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “This wildfire season has been especially brutal for California, and I am proud to say that Maryland is able to provide this assistance to our sister states in their time of need. Because natural disasters know no State or geographic boundaries, neither therefore should our willingness or ability to help when needed.”

Source: Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR)

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