National Guard Sent in to Battle Southern Calif. Blazes

October 23, 2007

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has directed the California National Guard to make 1,500 guardsmen available to support the firefighting efforts in Southern California. The 1,500 guardsmen, including 200 troops currently patrolling the California/Mexico border, will be deployed at the direction of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services to areas where they can have the greatest impact.

“It is a tragic time for California. I saw the tremendous devastation caused by these fires first-hand, and I want to commend all of the brave firefighters that have been battling the blazes around our state,” he said. “I am committed to making all of the state’s resources available to them to get these fires under control.”

On Sunday, Schwarzenegger requested four CNG helicopters through OES to support firefighting efforts. The four aircraft are currently on standby at Mather Air Field and Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base. Three UH-60 Blackhawks and a 1 Firehawk are capable of fire suppression missions, as well as personnel transport in and out of dangerous and hard-to-reach locations,” the Governor’s office said.

CNG is experienced in firefighting response missions and recently conducted an annual three-day, large-scale interagency wildfire training exercise near Fresno, Calif., in May with CAL FIRE and the USDA Forest Service.

Source: Office of the Governor

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