National Guard deploys to assist firefighters

July 7, 2008 4:28:35 PM PDT
Reinforcements are on the way.

About 200 California National Guard troops are getting quick training on fighting wildfires before they move to the front lines.

After training at a former Air Force base, the soldiers from San Lorenzo, Benicia and Sacramento headed to Mendocino County. There they will receive two more days of "live fire" training before being pressed into duty.

Though most of them have never fought a wildfire, some are looking forward to the experience.

"I feel a lot more excited than nervous because this is what I want to do as a profession, " one guardsman said. "So i'm very excited to go out and help the firefighters and help out the state as well."

By mid-week, Cal Fire will start to dispatch the the guardsmen to the fire lines to give existing fire crews a much needed break.

This will be the first time in more than 30 years that that California National Guard has been deployed to fight fires.

MAP: Google Reference Map of California Fires
(From the Governor's Office of Emergency Services).


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