National Guard Deployed as nearly 1/2 Million Acres Burn in California
Meadow Smoke and Sunrise
from a few days ago
Last year’s blazes consumed around 500,000acres and this year, at the beginning of fire season, 423,000 are already burning in California. Governor Schwarzenegger in pulling in more resources to fight. Yesterday, he gave a speech stating, “…we have also asked the National Guard to provide us with 200 extra personnel. There will be 10 groups of 20 each that will be trained by CAL FIRE this weekend and the beginning of next week. So they will be assisting also with the fires and we are very happy that the National Guard has agreed to that and is jumping into action very quickly.”
The plan is that the Guard will be trained for 5 days in the Mendocino forests as handcrews. Then the personnel will be deployed to fires throughout the state for an additional 3-4 weeks. This is the first time the National Guard has been used to fight fires here on such a scale since 1977 (although National Guard helicopter crews have been fighting for over a week.
The California Conservation Corp has also put around 800 youth to work on the fires. Even though this looks to be a record year in lands blazing under the California sun, it also looks to be a year of record cooperation between agencies to fight the flames.
LInks to Mendocino Current Fire info
Links to Humboldt Current Fire info