When the need arises, usually during a very active
wildland fire year, the Forest Service and other federal wildland
firefighting agencies engage the assistance of the United States
Through the National Interagency Fire Center, we
can activate a standing agreement with the Department of Defense
to use Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve C-130 aircraft and
personnel with a special Modular Airborne Firefighting System (MAFFS)
for retardant missions.
When the number of firefighters available to fight
large fires becomes stretched, we can call on the 5th Army and Marine
units to join us in battling wildland fires. An experienced training
cadre provided by the wildland fire agencies works with each battalion
of 500-600 soldiers or Marines requested, giving them one day of
classroom training and two days in the field before sending them
to work on the firelines. Military units start out working on mop-up
and are moved to other assignments as they gain experience.
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