BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, California --
On June 8, 2021, Airmen and families on Beale Air Force Base were struck with a real-world notification, directing residents to evacuate due to an approaching wildfire.
As the Intanko Fire crept toward base, smoke began engulfing neighborhoods. Families gathered their belongings, corralled into vehicles and evacuated.
While Airmen were evacuating, Beale’s Fire Department and Civil Engineers were on scene working to mitigate the growing fire. Their mission was aided by community partners, such as CalFire, Wheatland Fire Department, Linda Fire Department and other local agencies.
“Our fire department and the local agencies are the best in a stressful environment,” said Abel Salas, 9th Civil Engineer Squadron assistant fire chief. “They kept residents calm as they evacuated with loved ones and contained the fire.”
The Intanko Fire burned approximately 939 acres in total and no structures were damaged on base.
“When everything settled down and the hectic phase of it had passed, I was just happy to see that all of the homes were not damaged and everyone was safe,” said Senior Airman John Nethercutt, 9th Civil Engineer Squadron firefighter. “I was proud of everyone for doing such an amazing job”.
The initial evacuation notice was given at 2:28 p.m. and by 6:33 p.m the fire was contained on base and residents were informed they could return to their homes.
“The whole team did great at getting everyone evacuated, controlling the fire and getting us back in our homes so quickly,” said Master Sgt. Edward Okoegwale, housing resident. “My family and I couldn’t be more grateful for the efforts of the first responders.”