US Forest Service Firefighters from California Supporting Federal Response to Hurricane Sandy

Release Date: Oct 31, 2012  

VALLEJO, Calif.—In the first major mobilization of fire resources from California to the federal Hurricane Sandy response effort, five U.S. Forest Service hotshot crews are on their way to the northeast this afternoon. The crews will be joining an agency contingent that is already several hundred strong that was mobilized in the days prior to the incident and since the storm came ashore Monday evening (see link at bottom for complete national info).

The one-hundred firefighters departed southern California this morning and are due to arrive at approximately 3:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. Initially, they will be stationed at a mobilization center in East Farmingdale on Long Island, N.Y. and at a National Guard Training Center in Annville, Pa.

The crews being mobilized from California are:

  • Laguna Hotshots—Cleveland National Forest (San Diego area)
  • Palomar Hotshots—Cleveland National Forest (San Diego area)
  • Fulton Hotshots—Sequoia National Forest (southern Sierra area)
  • Breckenridge Hotshots—Sequoia National Forest (southern Sierra area)
  • Los Padres Hotshots—Los Padres National Forest (Santa Barbara/central coast area)

Interagency Hotshot Crews or IHCs are highly trained 20-person, wildland fire and all-risk crews. They are considered a national firefighting resource. The Hurricane Sandy response is a national priority incident. The duration of the assignment is likely to be between 14 days and a month.

Under the National Response Framework, the U.S. Forest Service provides firefighting assets to respond to hurricanes and other emergency incidents. The hotshot crews mobilized today were ordered through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

In responding to hurricanes, fire crews and incident management teams typically perform tasks such as clearing downed trees from roads so that local responders can conduct search and rescue missions; assisting at FEMA logistics facilities that provide water and other commodities needed to sustain life; providing communications equipment and support to local emergency response agencies; and command and control support for emergency response agencies.

For current information on U.S. Forest Service assistance to Hurricane Sandy, please visit the National Interagency Fire Center at www.nifc.gov.

Latest release:

www.nifc.gov/fireInfo/fireInfo_documents/ HurricaneSandyResponse102912.pdf

Podcast on Hurricane Sandy support with Steve Gage, Assistant Director of Operations for the U.S. Forest Service at the National Interagency Fire Center:

www.nifc.gov/fireInfo/fireInfo_media/HurricaneSandyResponse.MP3

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