SAN DIEGO COUNTY – Navy helicopters and ground equipment have been supporting firefighting efforts as wildfires continue to burn throughout San Diego County. A fire also raged through a naval installation in Fallbrook, Calif., and many military families have been evacuated from their homes to lodging on Navy bases.
Tomahawk Fire at Navy Fallbrook base
The Tomahawk Fire has burned over 6,000 acres, much of it on a detachment of Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach. The fire has been largely extinguished on the Navy installation, with some spot fires remaining and mop-up operations continuing.
An initial survey of the damage on the base indicates some damage to uninhabited outbuildings, but no damage to inhabited structures or munitions-related structures. The base remains closed to all but essential personnel.
At the request of California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CALFIRE), six MH-60S helicopters from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 3 are supporting firefighting efforts in vicinity of Camp Pendleton, Calif.
The MH-60 is highly versatile and can carry up to 420 gallons of water in its ‘Bambi Bucket’ to the fire.
The Seahawk is a multi-mission helicopter capable of anti-surface warfare, combat support, humanitarian disaster relief, combat search and rescue, aero medical evacuation, special warfare operations and organic airborne mine countermeasures.
Navy ground firefighting support
Engines, brush trucks and firefighters from local Navy installations are also supporting CALFIRE throughout the county. A four-person team and brush truck from Naval Base Coronado were dispatched to the Bernardo Fire Tuesday, and remains on station for continuing support.
A four-person team and engine from Naval Base San Diego were dispatched to the Poinsettia Fire in Carlsbad, and a four-person team and engine from Naval Air Facility El Centro has joined the consolidated firefighting strike team.
Evacuated military families
Military men and women and families who have been evacuated from homes throughout the county are being directed to lodging accommodations at Naval Base Coronado, Naval Base San Diego and Naval Base Point Loma.
Affected service members and family members should also check in with military units for accountability. Families can call the Navy’s Family Information Call Center at (866) 923-6478 for more information.