Redding Supply Cache

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Nov 16, 2004
Redding supply cache critical link in northern California fire fight​
[FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]. – Mark Garland and his crew have issued enough fire hose during the past two weeks for a 750-mile hose lay from Redding to Phoenix.
Garland and a 32-member crew at the Northern California Interagency Support Cache are responsible for keeping the more than 14,000 firefighters currently working in northern California properly equipped with a huge variety of firefighting equipment. They order, track, store, and ship equipment throughout northern California, from Santa Cruz and Lake Tahoe north to the Oregon border. And they have been busy.
More than 1.5 million pounds of firefighting supplies have left the cache for the fires in northern California in the past two weeks. This includes the distinct yellow shirts and green pants; gloves and helmets; fire shelters and packs; water bottles and packaged meals-ready-to-eat; fire hose, and basic firefighting tools like shovels, axes and Pulaskis.
The Northern California cache is one of 11 federal support caches strategically located throughout the United States. They support the federal agencies involved in wildland fire suppression and provide supplemental supplies to state agencies such as CAL FIRE and the Office of Emergency Services as needed.
"We’ve turned over our inventory almost four times since these fires started," Garland said.
For Garland and the cache crew, that means the work is just beginning. Garland has simply loaned the gear to the firefighters. The vast majority of equipment that has left the cache will be coming back and refurbished by Garland’s crew.
"In a typical fire season we would refurbish all the equipment here on base," Garland said. "This year, we’ll be renting warehouse space to accommodate all the returning equipment."
Garland usually has a crew of 12, but 20 additional workers are currently helping him keep up with the demand.
During the busiest point of the past two weeks, Garland was providing equipment to 26 incident management teams, each assigned to a complex of fires.

"Just half that number of teams would have been a significant event to deal with," Garland said. "We’ve never supplied this many teams in the 10 years I’ve been here."
As Garland’s $5.5 million inventory has dwindled, he replenishes it with equipment from one of the ten other federal caches, buys it directly from the manufacturer, or orders it through the federal General Services Administration.
Although it’s been a unprecedented challenge, the cache has been able to keep ahead of the demand.
"We’ve been able to accomplish this because of the tremendous effort from everybody working in the cache," Garland said. "I am very proud of this crew."​
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