An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : News : Article View
NEWS | Aug. 24, 2020

National Guard helps fight California wildfires

By National Guard Bureau

ARLINGTON, Va. – Hundreds of members of the National Guard from multiple states are supporting state and local efforts to fight the wildfires raging in California. Guard members on land and in the air are helping firefighters and first responders do their jobs, while Guard aircrews are helping map and fight the blazes.

As of Aug. 24, the California National Guard had more than 660 members in the fight. Aircraft include seven helicopters with water buckets, two C-130s capable of dropping 3,000 gallons of fire retardant in 5 seconds, and two MQ-9 drones to provide fire mapping and damage assessment.

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection issued more than 270 California National Guard Soldiers protective gear to begin hand crew training at Camp Roberts Aug. 23 to support firefighting efforts. The Guard members will supplement CAL FIRE and CANG’s Joint Task Force Rattlesnake hand crews deployed to key locations such as the Carmel Fire, Jones Fire, Hills Fire and others throughout the state.

Also on the ground, members of the 132nd Multirole Bridge Company, 579th Engineer Battalion, 49th Military Police Brigade, erected a four-bay improved ribbon bridge (IRB) at Cache Creek Canyon in Capay Valley so first responders can have a quicker, easier route to fight wildfires.

Members of the Nevada National Guard's 152nd Airlift Wing, also known as the “High Rollers,” activated July 29 to assist in California, with orders extended to Sept. 17.

Since arriving at Sacramento McClellan Airport in California July 29, the 152nd MAFFS eight aircraft made 12 drops and flew more than 14 sorties — dropping more than 35,000 gallons of retardant in about 20 hours of flight time. The drops supported suppression of the Stagecoach and Sites fires in Kern and Colusa counties.

“Our low-level tactical training prepares us for these missions,” said Maj. Tom Dorsett, 152nd MAFFS C-130 flight navigator. “Safety and accuracy is the priority.”

On Aug. 22, the Nevada National Guard also deployed two UH-72 Lakota helicopters and crew to California to act as "spotters" to help direct and report to firefighting aircraft.

The Wyoming Air National Guard’s 153rd Airlift Wing also contributed two C-130 aircraft to dump fire retardant and help suppress the fires.

The California, Nevada and Wyoming National Guard contributed to this story.



Related Articles
First Lt. Joseph Quinn, the executive officer in the 349th Composite Supply Company, California Army National Guard, participates in an interview on Fort Carson, Colorado, April 25, 2024, during the Vibrant Response exercise.
Maryland Guard Joins Homeland Disaster Response Exercise
By 1st Lt. Jasmine Mathews, | April 30, 2024
FORT CARSON, Colo. - Over 45 Maryland National Guard Soldiers are providing public affairs and logistics support during the Vibrant Response 24 exercise in Colorado April 19 to May 3. VR is an annual U.S. Army North, U.S...

Kenneth C. McNeill, a senior executive service member and the chief information officer of the National Guard Bureau, speaks to Project Theia officials and other interested parties during a discussion at the Pentagon Feb., 2, 2023. Named after the Greek goddess of sight, Theia centralizes video data, then applies Artificial Intelligence solutions to increase situational awareness among those responding to natural or man-made disasters.
Guard Employs AI to Battle Wildfires, Improve Disaster Response
By Master Sgt. Erich Smith, | April 8, 2024
ARLINGTON, Va. - Inside the bustling confines of an operations center, National Guard members quickly assemble information from multiple sources, piecing together the “big picture” from ground and air personnel as they fight...

Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief, National Guard Bureau, and SEA Tony Whitehead, senior enlisted advisor to the CNGB, visit National Guardsmen deployed within the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility March 15, 2024.
The Hometown Heroes of Tower 22
By Sgt. 1st Class Zach Sheely, | March 27, 2024
UNDISCLOSED LOCATION - The Guardsmen hailed from hometowns across America, but when they found themselves deployed to a remote desert outpost in the no man’s land where the borders of Jordan, Iraq and Syria meet, they built a...