Maryland sends first responders to help with West Coast fires

Emergency management specialists and firefighters from Maryland are, or will soon be, on the ground in both Oregon and California to support those states in fighting devastating wildfires.

The Emergency Management Assistance Compact, according to a news release from Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s office, allows states to offer each other aid in response to natural disasters and other emergencies.

A member of the Anne Arundel County Fire Department who specializes in geographic information systems will soon be in Oregon to help the state’s Emergency Coordination Center’s efforts to track the wildfires.

Also in Oregon, two members of the Maryland Emergency Management Agency will support the coordination center during the month of October.

In California, what Hogan’s office called “firefighter modules” from Maryland have been working throughout the summer and early fall on the El Dorado fire in Southern California and the Slater fire in Northern California.

Hogan said other states have never hesitated to support Maryland, so “we stand ready to support those who now face an unprecedented wildfire season.”

Throughout the year, firefighters from Maryland, through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, have worked on wildfires in Arizona, Colorado, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wyoming.

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