A task force from the Riverside City Fire Department is part of a team deployed to Hawaii to help in wildfire response as catastrophic blazes continue to ravage Maui, officials announced Thursday.
Gov. Gavin Newsom directed California’s Office of Emergency Services to send 11 members of the state’s search and rescue task forces to aid in recovery operations and the search for survivors. Among them is CA Task Force 6 from the Riverside City Fire Department.
Additionally, Cal OES personnel specializing in mass fatality management have been deployed to Hawaii.
The blazes, which began Tuesday, have claimed at least 36 lives.
“California stands with the people of Maui and all Hawaiians amid these horrific wildfires that have claimed lives and destroyed the historic town of Lāhainā,” Newsom said in a statement.
“Californians know firsthand the devastating toll of catastrophic wildfires fueled by climate change, capable of wiping out entire communities and centuries of irreplaceable history and heritage. Our state is sending resources to support our Pacific neighbors during their time of need.”
“This deployment builds on California’s far-reaching efforts to aid other states during emergencies,” officials touted.
Earlier this year, California sent firefighters, disaster recovery experts and other personnel to Oregon, New Mexico and Montana. And in 2021, state officials deployed fire engines to assist Oregon’s response to the Bootleg Fire and specialized urban search and rescue resources teams to Florida following the Surfside condo collapse.