National Guard soldiers training at Camp Roberts to fight wildfires

More than 250 soldiers are training at Camp Roberts this week to help fight wildfires.

Troops with the California National Guard arrived Monday for the four-day training event with Cal Fire. The lessons are designed to teach them how to use tools to create gaps in vegetation that can slow or stop the progress of a fire as well as how to tackle small fires and hot spots that remain after a large fire has passed through an area, according to a press release from the California National Guard.

“Having these crews trained and ready to support us on the ground will increase our ability to surge critical resources to the fight when and where we need it, especially with the historically worst months of California’s fire season still ahead of us,” Chief Ken Pimlott, Cal Fire director, said in a statement.

The California National Guard has already sent 18 helicopters, two planes and additional air crews to help fight recent fires across Northern California, according to the press release.