Boise's NIFC Mobilizes Military To Help Fight Wildfires Out West
Many western states are experiencing above average wildfire seasons, with nearly 4 million acres burned so far.
The National Interagency Fire Center or NIFC in Boise asked for 200 active duty U.S. Army soldiers to assist with wildfire suppression efforts. And that request has been approved.
“We're really at the height of our fire season in what's called preparedness level five, where we have a maximum number of resources that are mobilized across the U.S.," said NIFC spokesperson Stanton Florea.
While it’s not a routine procedure, Florea said the military has been activated through NIFC multiple times over the last 40 years. This, he said, is the first active duty mobilization since 2018.
"It's something that we feel good about doing," said Florea,"and we definitely appreciate the military's assistance when we're in these kinds of situations.”
Florea said over the next week, soldiers will receive classroom and field training at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma, Washington. They will also learn social distancing protocols for fighting fires.
Training will finish in early September, after which soldiers will assist crews in priority areas, like northern California and Arizona.
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