National Fire Center Brings in Troops to Fight Western Fires
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The National Interagency Fire Center is calling in 200 active duty military troops to help fight roughly 95 wildfires burning across the West.
Officials with the Boise, Idaho-based agency made the announcement Monday, saying the troops would spend a few days training this week before they are sent to a wildfire. It's the first time NIFC has called mobilized the military for fire suppression efforts since 2006. The troops will be divided into 10 crews with 20 people each, and will work on the same blaze starting Sunday, Aug. 23.
NIFC managers haven't decided which fire that will be yet, but more than 1700 square miles combined are burning in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, California, Nevada and Colorado. Several states have already mobilized National Guard personnel and helicopters to help suppress the fires.