National Guard Assisting CAL FIRE as Wildfire Season Intensifies

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MATHER FIELD --

As wildfires rage across California, thousands of firefighters have been working nonstop to contain nearly 20 large fires.

CAL FIRE has launched an aggressive attack on several new ones in our region over the past two weeks; deploying helicopters and air tankers to douse flames from above.

At this point CAL FIRE tells FOX40 the agency is not stretched too thin, thanks to grant money because of the drought, roughly 400 additional firefighters and the National Guard.

"Our full force effort started yesterday.  We had a nine aircraft that were mobilized, all helicopters to support CAL FIRE.  Today were up to twelve including two of our air tankers"," said Captain Will Martin, California National Guard Spokesperson.

The two air tankers and ten helicopters are focused primarily on the Rocky Fire in Lake County.

Meanwhile more than 200 National Guardsmen are preparing to head to the fire lines to assist CAL FIRE.

"We train with them year round to make sure the inter-agency cooperation is seamless," said Captain Martin.

Martin says the National Guard is well-prepared to continue working with CAL FIRE in what's already shaping up to be an extremely active fire season.

"We have quite a big fleet as far as aircraft, around 20 aircraft that we can help support with. And as far as personnel we have hundreds even thousands of national guardsman that we can mobilize," said Captain Martin.

The National Guard is also emphasizing something CAL FIRE has said recently: do not fly hobby drones near firefighting aircraft.  A drone has the power to bring them down.​

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