State Sending 20 Firefighters to Battle Wildfires in Calif.

    Twenty wildland firefighters from Maryland are headed to northern California to battle ongoing wildfires. It’s part of a cooperative agreement the state has with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service – and it’s the first out-of-state deployment for a Maryland crew this season.

    The 20-person crew assembled this weekend at the Madonna Ranger Station in Harford County and departed Monday from Harrisburg, Pa., along with four other crews from the Mid-Atlantic region. The crews will receive their assignments upon arrival at a staging area in Redding, Calif.

    The crew consists of 15 representatives from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources – nine from the Maryland Forest Service, four from the Maryland Park Service (including one retired employee) and two from the Wildlife and Heritage Service. Additionally, there are four crew members from volunteer fire companies, and one is a former Maryland Conservation Corps member.

    The department is also sending an employee this week to serve as a division supervisor at the Lime Fire in Klamath National Forest in northern California.

    Maryland has sent certified, equipped, and fully-trained wildland firefighters around the country since 1974.

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    Josh Kurtz
    Co-founder and Editor Josh Kurtz is the leading chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He later became an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, and spent eight years at E&E News, an online subscription-only publisher of news websites covering energy and environmental issues. For seven of those years, he led a staff of 20 reporters at E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill and in national politics. For 6 1/2 years he wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz has given speeches and appeared on TV and radio shows about Maryland politics through the years.