Gov. Baker calls on National Guard to help fight brush fire burning in Rockport

·1 min read

Thirty members of the Massachusetts National Guard were activated Thursday to assist in the fight against a month-long brush fire that has been smoldering across 19 acres of land.

Gov. Charlie Baker activated the specially-trained National Guard personnel for a mission to support local first responders and maintain a containment area established around the fire.

The Briarwood Fire is one of more than 800 wildfires reported this year in the Commonwealth which have burned a total of 1,248 acres, according to the Department of Conservation and Recreation Bureau of Forest Fire Control and Forestry.

Nearly all of the Commonwealth is either in severe drought or extreme drought after Thursday’s drought update.

Nearly all of Mass. considered to be in extreme or severe drought

Baker’s office said the National Guard personnel activated for the mission in Rockport are firefighters in the Massachusetts Army National Guard’s tactical firefighting units on Joint Base Cape Cod. They are part of the 179th and 180th Engineer Detachments.

“Their wildfire suppression training, skilled expertise, and regular collaboration with the Department of Conservation and Recreation equip them to strengthen the containment line and meaningfully contribute to Rockport’s ongoing fire mitigation efforts,” Baker said in a statement.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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