Governor Gavin Newsom Deploys Fire and Rescue Personnel to South Fork and Salt Fires in New Mexico


SACRAMENTO – As hot, dry conditions and strong winds continue to propel dangerous wildfire conditions across the West, Governor Gavin Newsom today announced the deployment of fire and rescue personnel to New Mexico to aid in human remains detection coordination and recovery efforts.

In close coordination with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Governor Newsom directed his Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) to immediately deploy five firefighters from California’s Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Task Forces’ Incident Support Team along with 11 Human Remains Detection dogs and their handlers.

“California is all too familiar with the devastating impacts of major wildfires on our communities,” said Nancy Ward, Director of Cal OES. “California stands ready to continue to support our neighbors to the East with specialized personnel and recovery experts, while maintaining the capacity to keep Californians safe as we head into peak wildfire season.”

The Incident Support Team provides a group of highly qualified specialists to provide local officials with technical assistance, management and coordination of US&R resources.

The specialized team members deployed to New Mexico come from California-based US&R Task Forces, including local government fire and rescue personnel from Oakland, Orange County, Roseville and San Diego fire departments. The California-based US&R Canine Search Teams come from Los Angeles City, Los Angeles County, Orange County and Riverside City fire departments.

This deployment builds on California’s far-reaching efforts to aid other states during emergencies. Last year, California deployed Urban Search and Rescue members to Hawaii to support wildfire response. In 2022, California deployed firefighters, disaster recovery experts, and other personnel to Oregon, New Mexico, and Montana. In 2021, California sent 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.