National Guard to help battle LNU Lightning Complex Fire in North Bay

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KGO) -- 280 National Guardsmen and Guardswomen are scheduled to arrive in Santa Rosa Wednesday afternoon to help fight the LNU Lightning Complex Fire burning in Napa, Sonoma and Lake counties.

"The whole idea is for them to go ahead and supplement the local firefighting sources that are on the local fire line," said Captain Sean Sunahara with CAL FIRE.

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The team reported on Sunday and started training for the firefight.

"The training consists of three days. We have two days of classroom which are basic fundamentals, familiarity with fire behavior, the fuels and basically what the job is as a fireman. And one day we participate in training where we put everything together in the field," Sunahara said.

The Guardsmen and women are not trained to rush into an initial firefight. They can cool hot spots but leave the frontline work to the trained firefighters.

"We support them by reallocating hose to different locations that need mop up or reinforcement of the fireline," Sunahara explained.

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This is a 30-day deployment. They'll spend 21 days on the fire line. The other days are for training and wrap up.

With so many fires burning in California, firefighters have been stretched thin and say this will help tremendously.

They have already called up another 300 Guardsmen and Women who are reporting to Camp Roberts Wednesday. Their assignment is still to be determined.

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The fire has burned more than 356,000 acres in the North Bay.


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Get the latest updates and videos on the CZU, LNU and SCU Lightning Complex Fires here.

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