SACRAMENTO – Moving swiftly to support the response to deadly wildfires in Hawaii, Governor Gavin Newsom today announced the deployment of resources and urban search and rescue personnel to assist in the coordination and support of emergency operations in the most impacted areas.
In close coordination with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Governor Newsom directed his Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) to deploy 11 members of California’s Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Task Forces to aid in the recovery operations and the search for survivors. In addition, state personnel from Cal OES specializing in urban search and rescue and mass fatality management have been deployed to Hawaii.
“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,” said Governor Newsom. “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.”
The Governor spoke with Hawaii Governor Josh Green on Wednesday to discuss support for the state as it responds to and recovers from the devastating wildfires.
The specialized team members deployed to Hawaii come from state-federal US&R Task Forces in California, including local government firefighting personnel from Oakland, Sacramento, and Riverside fire departments.
This deployment builds on California’s far-reaching efforts to aid other states during emergencies. Last year, 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.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Newsom provided ventilators to Michigan, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, and Delaware, and sent millions of items of PPE to West Coast states.