CALIFORNIA—A total of 10 firefighters from Israel arrived in California in order to help combat ongoing wildfires throughout Northern California on Sunday, August 30. The team greeted the governor, Gavin Newsom, and the Office of Emergency Services on August 31.
The Israeli firefighter team landed at the San Francisco International Airport on August 30. The State of California and Israel are taking part in a “mutual aid operation,” and the help of Israel is in reaction to the US’ dispatch of critical firefighting resources to Israel in 2016, said Shlomi Kofman, Israel’s SF based consul general. He mentioned it is the first time in history Israeli firefighters have been sent to fight fires in the United States.
The deployment of the 10 firefighters is going to be for 2 weeks. On August 31, the team headed to a fire station in San Francisco, and then traveled to Sacramento before being divided into units to actually fight fires, said The Jewish News of Northern California. The team greeted Steinberg, the mayor of Sacramento. He commented on Twitter, “As a Jewish mayor, I’m particularly proud and happy to see them come to our aid.”
On August 31, the firefighters were also welcomed by California Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). The Director of Cal OES Mark S Ghilarducci expressed his pride in facilitating the partnerships and engagement of Israeli Firelighters to support California to combat wildfires.
According to the Cal Fire’s report on September 1, more than 15,600 firefighters and personnel have been dispatched to fight the fires which have been over 1.48 million acres. Eight fatalities were reported and more than 3000 structures have been destroyed.
Cal OES published the current fire map on September 1. The state still has more than 15 spots of large fires including “Woodward” near San Francisco, which has been burning 4465 acres since August 18.
Statewide fire map for Tuesday, September 1. Hard work continues to pay off as containment increases on major fires throughout California. pic.twitter.com/EC8HHWPiU8
— Cal OES (@Cal_OES) September 1, 2020