California may be on the opposite side of the country, but Connecticut is still finding a way to help put out the flames as wildfires ravage the countryside, destroy homes and force evacuations.
California's governor declared a stage of emergency and called for more aid, so Connecticut is answering the call. The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) announced that a 20-person fire crew will be heading to California early tomorrow morning to assist in fighting wildfires in the northern part of the state.
The crew, consisting of 14 DEEP employees and 6 local firefighters, will be in California fighting blazes, likely up to two weeks. It's the first time this year that a Connecticut fire crew has been deployed to help fight wildfires, according to the DEEP.
The crew members were selected based on their certification to fight forest or wildfires; the DEEP keeps a roster of those who qualify. Crew members must complete a rigorous training program and participate in an annual renewal course.
Connecticut maintains this firefighting service to participate in a reciprocal aid program operated by the U.S. Forest Service, which allows trained personnel from other parts of the nation to assist Connecticut in the event of a fire emergency.
The group will arrive in Sacramento later Tuesday afternoon.