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Friday, July 13, 2012

CALEMA: Governor Brown Directs Additional Firefighting Resources to Wildfires

 SACRAMENTO, Calif., July 13, 2012 – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. directed additional state resources deployed to assist in fighting wildfires burning throughout northern California. 
A highly trained CAL FIRE Incident Management Team is now coordinating the attack on the 1,157 acre “Robbers Fire” in Placer County.  The wildfire is burning three miles northwest of the community of Foresthill and was only 10% contained as of Friday morning.  Officials say 150 residences are threatened and 1,368 personnel are assigned to try and get the upper hand on the fire.
"We've had a brief reprieve from large fire activity the last two years," said Chief Ken Pimlott, director of CAL FIRE. "But the exceptionally dry winter has set the stage for a more active fire season this year and we're seeing fire activity now that we would typically not see until late August."
Governor Brown also directed the California National Guard to activate five specially equipped UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and trained guard personnel to assist state and local firefighters as well as emergency management and mutual aid resources available through the California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA).
"The California Military Department is supporting CAL FIRE and CAL EMA to provide critical resources and personnel to protect the residents affected by these wildfires," said Maj. Gen. David S. Baldwin, Adjutant General, California Military Department. "We are prepared to provide additional support and stand ready wherever and whenever we are needed," he said.
Significant fires are burning in three northern California counties – Placer, Trinity and Coulsa Counties and have burned over 30,630 acres, destroyed at least 5 structures and displaced hundreds of residents. 
Cal EMA has deployed 23 mutual aid strike teams comprised of firefighting equipment and personnel from around the region.  A total of 150 engines and approximately 469 personnel are deployed as a part of these state-coordinated strike teams.  They join hundreds more local firefighters in impacted areas.
“Our hearts go out to those impacted by these wildfires,” said Secretary Mark Ghilarducci of the California Emergency Management Agency.  “We know how important it is to have a quick, coordinated response to these disasters and that’s what our team has been focused on around the clock,” he said.  “We’re working closely with the other agencies and keeping a close eye on the rest of the state as the hot weather and winds pose additional challenges.”
Ghilarducci stressed that residents near these wildfires should pay close attention to information and direction from local authorities in case additional evacuations are necessary.


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****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.
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