SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — One hundred seventy firefighters from Texas landed at Sacramento International Airport Tuesday afternoon to help on the front lines and give California crews a chance to rest and recuperate.
The crews got a hero’s welcome complete with fun signs, cheers and fist bumps they arrived from the Lone Star state, ready to relieve California’s exhausted crews.
“This is good. Look at this! The whole plane! All the Texans coming to help us!” Sacramento resident Kathy McFarland said.
The group, made up of firefighters from Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Amarillo know their mission won’t be easy. Adam Scott with the Lake Cities Fire Department said, “It’s a big challenge for us, and a big fire.”
This team of reinforcements is the second sent from Texas over the last month and will be on the front lines of the state’s raging wildfires for the next two weeks.
“Our typical work cycle is 14 days on the line and that’s sometimes 24 hour days that they’re working,” Brian Marshall, with the Cal OES Fire Rescue Team, said.
Cal OES says more boots on the ground will likely be needed, especially as the Glass and Zogg fires continue to devastate Northern California.
“The conditions on the frontline are extreme. It’s hot, steep, rugged terrain, the fires are rapidly spreading and as we’ve seen by the number of firefighter fatalities that we’ve had during this wildland siege. This is extremely dangerous work,” Marshall said.
And with another month left to go in the fire season, a grateful region cannot say “thank you” enough.
Cal OES says 460 firefighters from across the United States are now helping on the front lines. Southwest Airlines agreed to waive the faires for all of the Texan firefighters as well.