October 11, 2017

California National Guard Mobilizes to Help Battle Massive Wildfires

Steve Marshall
U.S. National Guard Bureau

California National Guard soldiers receive instruction from CAL FIRE firefighters during crew training at Camp Roberts, Calif., Sept. 7, 2017. The troops headed out to the Salmon-August Complex Fire near Etna, Calif., the Mission Fire, near Oakhurst, Calif., and wherever else needed. More National Guard activity is expected Oct. 10, 2017, to combat fires that are ravaging California’s wine country and elsewhere.

Following an emergency declaration by California Gov. Jerry Brown, the state National Guard was mobilizing resources Oct. 10 to assist civil authorities in the battle against massive wildfires that have already killed 10 people.

When fires broke out and rapidly spread due to dry conditions, the California National Guard dispatched three medevac helicopters and 100 military police officers, National Guard Bureau officials said.

The fires, many in California’s iconic Napa Valley wine country, have destroyed more than 1,500 homes and businesses, and there were reports that schools were reduced to ashes.

Several residents and visitors were forced to evacuate, some in the middle of the night, according to news reports.

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