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National Guard Sends 380 To Help Firefighting Effort

  

The California National Guard has sent 380 soldiers to train with Cal Fire before they are sent to fight wildfires in  California. 

They will receive four days of training at Camp Roberts in Paso Robles.

Cal Guard Captain Will Martin says the soldiers will be deployed to any of the fires burning in the state.

"Those will be the folks with the pick axes and the shovels actually clearing out the vegetation that is easy for the fires to use," he says.

Many will report to the lines of the Sand Fire in Santa Clarita and the Soberanes Fire in Big Sur.

Martin says the soldiers will be sent to fire lines at the end of this week and beginning of next week.

"We have a number of units that are assigned to be hand crews should those opportunities arise. And, this happens to be their turn and then we have other folks -several hundred other soldiers and airmen in reserve to serve the same purposes later on down the year. So, we rotate them through just depending how long they're on the fires."

The Sand Fire is 98-percent contained. The Soberanes Fire has burned more than 40,000 acres and is just 18-percent contained.

These are the first crews requested by Cal Fire this year. About a thousand members of the guard worked on fires in the state last year.

Bob Moffitt

Sacramento Region Reporter

Bob is the Sacramento Region Reporter. He has been at the forefront of the coverage of the Sacramento Kings' saga and the effort to build a new arena in Sacramento. He also covers education, business, environment, and sports stories.   Read Full Bio