Travis Air Force Base Evacuating as Wildfire Rages

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The LNU Lightning Complex fires have led to evacuations at Travis Air Base, California
Flames from the LNU Lightning Complex fires jump Interstate 80 in Vacaville, Calif., on Aug. 19, 2020. The highway was closed in both directions shortly afterward. Fire crews across the region scrambled to contain dozens of wildfires sparked by lightning strikes as a statewide heat wave continues. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Travis Air Force Base, California, is immediately evacuating all non-mission essential personnel as a growing wildfire threatens the area.

Officials announced Wednesday that personnel living in base housing or staying in lodging facilities must evacuate immediately, according to a release.

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"Mission essential personnel should contact their chain of command for duty status," the release states.

The evacuation order comes as the LNU Lightning Complex Fire continues to burn in nearby Fairfield and Vacaville, California. The base is adhering to the Solano County Fire Department's mandatory evacuations, the service said. Travis Air Force Base is located northeast of San Francisco.

The fire, spanning five counties and 124,100 acres, has been active for two days, with limited containment, according to California wildfire data.

"There is currently no lodging available on Travis Air Force Base and members are directed to stay with family or friends, proceed to evacuation centers, or secure commercial lodging outside of the evacuation area," the release states.

Personnel have been told to leave through the south and north gates and to avoid leaving via the main or hospital gate, it adds. The base is also standing up an Emergency Family Assistance Center aid in relocation orders.

Families who need emergency financial assistance as a result of the fires can contact the Red Cross.

"Once the evacuation order has been lifted, additional information will be released through the comptroller squadron regarding reimbursement of lodging and per diem expenses for mandatory evacuees," the release states.

The LNU Fire has damaged more than 175 structures, including housing and commercial facilities, per CalFire. No injuries have been reported.

Air Force C-130 cargo aircraft designed for firefighting are already battling wildfires scorching thousands of acres across the state.

The Air National Guard has activated several units that use the specialized Modular Airborne Firefighting System, or MAFFS, which drops hundreds of pounds of fire retardant out of a C-130.

According to Air Force Magazine, four C-130s from the California Air National Guard's 146th, the Wyoming Air National Guard's 153rd, and Nevada Air National Guard's 152nd Airlift Wings have been dropping retardant on blazes including the Lake Fire north of Santa Clarita, the Salt Fire near Stockton, and the LNU Fire.

The Air Force Reserve Command's 302nd Air Expeditionary Group out of Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, is managing the requests, according to Air Forces Northern. Since July, the aircraft collectively have made more than 100 drops against wildfires in the state.

-- Oriana Pawlyk can be reached at oriana.pawlyk@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @Oriana0214.

Related: American Red Cross Military Resources

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