Local Strike Teams Gear Up as Wildfire Season Takes Hold

MCCLELLAN -- Before the long drive up to the Redding area, strike team leader and Folsom Fire's Chad Wilson makes one thing very clear -- his team will hit the ground running.

"We'll get up there probably going to be getting right into initial attacks," Wilson told FOX40.

Wilson's team is one of three local strike teams off to the front lines of wildfires. Two of those teams are using Cal OES trucks.

"The Cal OES strike teams, that's where you see the yellow or green apparatus," Wilson said.

Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District spokesperson Chris Vestal says he has multiple firefighters and engines heading to fires. Folsom, Sacramento, Consumnes and West Sacramento fire departments are all part of the teams. It's a call each department has been waiting for.

"Three-hundred-and-sixty-five days a year we have all of our strike team stations covered with personnel that are able and knowing that they may be deployed," Vestal said.

While they hit the road, air attack is in the middle of its own logistical game plan from a plane in the sky surveying the flames.

At Cal Fire's aviation headquarters at McClellan Park pilots know before takeoff which fire they are headed to. However, where they drop the payload may only come in minutes before a target is acquired.

"So it's like it would be an air traffic controller up in the air," said Cal Fire spokesman Michael Mohler. "What they do is they determine what they need, you know, on the ground to the aircraft and they determine where to drop."