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Jun-29-2008 13:29TweetFollow @OregonNews
California Wildfires Lead to Presidential Declaration for Federal AidTim King Salem-News.com
Smoke has been sent downwind from the fires, resulting in hazardous breathing conditions for California residents. Parts of Oregon and Nevada will also be impacted.
(SALEM, Ore.) - The President issued a declaration today ordering federal aid to supplement state and local firefighting efforts in response to wildfires.
AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Kristina Baker, says California's Department of Forestry and Fire Protection reported early Sunday that over 1,400 fires have ignited across the state since last weekend's devastating lightning storm.
"The fires have charred over 356,000 acres and destroyed 29 residences. The number of homes that remain threatened stands at over 7,500. Firefighters are desperately trying to contain the 29 large blazes across the state that could destroy these residences."
The wildfires have caused plenty of problems in addition to the actual blazes. Smoke has been sent downwind from the fires, resulting in hazardous breathing conditions for California residents.
The Associated Press reports that the smoke has forced officials to cancel the weekend's 100-mile Western States Endurance Run for the first time in its 31-year history. Runners travel from as far as Africa for this event.
South and south-eastern winds are expected to continue spreading smoke from the wildfires over the northern and central portions of California tomorrow. Parts of southern Oregon and western Nevada will also be impacted.
The California National Guard is continuing its firefighting efforts with support from National Guard equipment and personnel from various other states. At this time, they are providing 13 helicopters, eight fixed-wing aircraft, and more than 200 personnel to assist in extinguishing various northern California wildfires today.
Aircraft being utilized from the California guard inventory include 5 UH-60 Blackhawks, 1 Firehawk, 1 CH-47 Chinook, and 1 OH-58 Kiowa for observation. Since Monday, these aircraft have reportedly dropped 457,732 gallons of water. The CNG is also providing 1 C-130J aircraft for personnel and equipment transport and 2 RC-26 providing aerial imagery support. There are currently 6 MAFFS, which are capable of dropping up to 3,000 gallons of water or retardant, being used to fight wildfires. Two of those are from the North Carolina Air National Guard, 2 are from the Colorado Air Force Reserve and two are from the Wyoming Air National Guard.
The California Guard also reports that eight bulldozers are being equipped and should be made available by the end of next week to assist in fighting the wildfires.
Special thanks for information in this story: Accuweather.com and the California National Guard
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