With a long summer of western wildfires ahead, especially in California, some additional help is coming for fighting the raging infernos. A day after President Trump declared the California wildfires a “major disaster,” the U.S. military said it’s preparing to deploy hundreds of active-duty soldiers with engineering specialties to combat the blazes, Fox News reports.
Roughly 200 active-duty U.S. Army soldiers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state will ship out in the coming days, according to two defense officials. The unit from the 14th Brigade Engineer Battalion of the 2nd Infantry Division will ship out after training to combat fires this week, one official said.
The combat engineers specialize in demolition and construction, normally as used in combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, where the unit has deployed over the past decade. The troops will join crews flying four active-duty Air Force C-130 cargo planes flying over California to drop water and fire retardant liquids. California National Guard units are also battling the blazes.