MATHER, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE)-  The State of California has a new tool to combat natural disasters after creating the country’s first all-hazards fire engine strike team.

The unit, known as Team Blaze, and its five new specialized engines are outfitted to be able to respond to a variety of emergency situations including wildfires in rural settings, protecting structures in urban areas, and performing urban search and rescue operations.

The Type VI engines can maneuver in tight areas, hold up to 300 gallons of water, and carry a four-person crew.  They add to the already-existing fleet of 270 California Fire and Rescue Mutual Aid System fire engines.

The state military, consisting of the California Army National Guard, the California Air National Guard, the California State Military Reserve and the California Youth and Community Programs train personnel in firefighting prevention, mitigation, and protection services at California military bases and camps.

Team Blaze joins Task Force Rattlesnake, a hand crew program made up of soldiers and airmen, established in 2019. Task Force Rattlesnake has cut, cleared, and treated at-risk wildfire project areas in central and northern parts of California.