California Fire Triggers Personnel, Aircraft Evacuations at Travis

Non-essential personnel and their families evacuated from Travis Air Force Base on Aug. 19 because of the threat of the LNU Lightning Complex Fire, 60th Air Mobility Wing spokesperson Capt. Amanda M. Farr confirmed to Air Force Magazine.

The base also began evacuating its aircraft around 8:30 the same night, with the wing’s C-17s headed to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., its C-5s to Kelly Field at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, and its KC-10s to Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash., Farr said.

While the fire hadn’t reached the base as of press time, Farr said the commander ordered the mandatory personnel evacuation “out of an abundance of caution based on the current situation,” to ensure the wing had enough lead time to respond. The installation commander made the call in accordance with other mandatory evacuations in Solano County, Calif., a 60th Air Mobility Wing release said.

“All non-mission essential personnel residing in Travis AFB housing or lodging are directed to evacuate immediately,” a 60th Air Mobility Wing release stated. “Egress should be through the South and North Gates. Do not use the Main Gate or Hospital Gates.”

Since the wing is unable to house evacuated Airmen and their families, the release instructed them to seek shelter with relatives or friends, head to an evacuation center, or find a commercial lodging option “outside the evacuation area.”

Airmen who were forced to leave their homes may use their government travel cards to cover lodging, per diem, and mileage, Farr said.

Travis also activated its Emergency Evacuation Assistance Center on the evening of Aug. 19 to help evacuated families with relocation, according to a Facebook update from the wing. Families may contact the center by phone at (707) 424-2486, the post stated.

The wing advised essential personnel to reach out to their chain of command to determine their duty statuses. 

Editor’s Note: This story was updated on Aug. 20 at 1:22 a.m. EDT with additional information about aircraft evacuations and to clarify the circumstances under which Airmen may use their government travel cards.