California military base evacuated due to wildfires sends planes to JBLM

VIDEO: California military base evacuated due to wildfires sends planes to JBLM

Four C-17 transport planes from Travis Air Force Base are sitting on the tarmac at Joint Base Lewis McChord after crews were forced to take the skies and evacuate their home base in northern California.

“You’re looking at nearly a billion dollars’ worth of assets here,” said Air Force pilot Captain Adam Cooper.

The LNU Lightning Complex, a series of fires caused by a rash of thunderstorms across several counties in northern California earlier this week has been raging out of control, burning hundreds of thousands of acres across several counties and destroying several hundred structures. Nearly 120,000 people have been forced to evacuate, including more than 4,000 military and civilian personnel at Travis.

Content Continues Below

“They elected to make the decision to evacuate the personnel as quickly as possible,” said Cooper. Aircraft in the path of the fire were flown to Joint Base Lewis McChord and Air Force facilities near Spokane and San Antonio. “I would say it is a little unusual just the speed with which we were able to get the aircraft off the ground.”

Cooper said progress was being made by firefighters battling flames around Travis Air Force Base and that crews would likely head home in a few days.