Governor Calls In Guard To Help Fight Fires

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
200 National Guardsmen and women from around the state will join the mission. It’s an unusual move – but Cal-Fire’s Daniel Berlant says it’s no ordinary year. Over 420-thousand acres have been burned – well above the five-year average: “To have a fire season like this, this early in the year, really is unprecedented and that’s one of the reasons we’re calling our brothers at the national guard in to assist in the firefight.” Berlant says the Guard troops will go through a five day training course. The goal is to have them ready to fight fires by next week. He says their role will largely be clean-up: “They’re going to be mopping up, making sure that every single ember, every single hotspot is extinguished.” The Guard will also provide trucks and bulldozers. Last year National Guardsmen and women were deployed to help with support during the San Diego fires – but they weren’t on the fire lines.