More Airmen Join Fight Against California Fire

Airmen from the 9th Civil Engineer Squadron at Beale AFB, Calif., are assisting local firefighters battle a massive wildfire near Clearlake, Calif., according to an Air Force news release. A Beale fire engine joined four other trucks for a 17-person strike force. Strike teams are a key part of the mutual aid system California uses to fight fires, and the engine from Beale was a critical piece of the team, said Kyle Heggstrom, Linda Fire Protection District fire captain and leader of the team. The experience also was important training for the Beale team, firefighters said. The California Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve last week sent hundreds of people and several planes to help put the fire out. The Rocky fire has burned nearly 70,000 acres and was 85 percent contained as of Sunday morning, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, but a new fire ignited nearby that afternoon, drawing fire crews away.