A press release from Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
At the request of the National Interagency Fire Center, and in support of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service, U.S. Army North, U.S. Northern Command’s Joint Force Land Component Command, concluded its wildland fire ground response operation in California.
Approximately 200 Soldiers from the 23rd Brigade Engineer Battalion and the 2-3 Infantry Battalion, both from the 1-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 7th Infantry Division, I Corps, who supported the Dixie Fire in Northern California, returned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington after a month-long mission that began August 30.
“As defenders of the homeland, it is our duty and our honor to support the National Interagency Fire Center’s efforts to suppress the Dixie Fire and protect those threatened by it,” said Lt. Gen. John R. Evans, Jr., ARNORTH commander. “I am incredibly proud of our Soldiers for adapting so quickly to this new environment and unique mission, and achieving, alongside our interagency partners, 94 percent containment of the fire.”
The Dixie Fire, which started July 13, 2021, is the second largest wildfire in California’s history. It has burned just shy of one million acres across the Plumas National Forest, Lassen National Forest, Lassen Volcanic National Park, and in five counties.
Active duty Soldiers supporting the Dixie Fire worked under the command of Dual Status Commander, U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Smiley as the Joint Task Force California commander. Additionally, across the state, the California National Guard provided several hundred Soldiers and Airmen as part of Type II hand crews, as well as multiple rotary wing aircraft for water bucket operations, and military police ground units for traffic control and security. Together, the CANG and the U.S. Air Force also provided eight C- 130s equipped with Modular Airborne Fire Fighting Systems to help fight fires from the air across the Western states.
The JFLCC, through USNORTHCOM, is the primary Department of Defense organization for coordinating defense support of civil authorities to help federal partners, like NIFC, respond to natural or man-made disasters.