Cal Guard, Cal Fire team up for wildfire training |

Cal Guard, Cal Fire team up for wildfire training

As California enters its fourth year of drought, CalFire and the California National Guard will hold their annual fire aviation training this weekend in preparation for the imminent peak fire season. The training will be held at the Cal Fire Academy in Ione and Lake Pardee in Amador County.

“As the drought continues to create extreme fire conditions, it is more important than ever to train with our partners in order to be prepared for our state’s inevitable wildfires,” said Cal Fire Chief Ken Pimlott. “During years of high fire activity, the assistance from the California National Guard has been vital in aiding us battle large, damaging fires.”

CalFire and the Cal Guard have worked in cooperation for nearly four decades, enabling Cal Fire to augment its helicopter fleet during times when the department is battling numerous large wildfires at the same time. The training that the Cal Guard pilots and crewmembers receive includes basic incident management, firefighting operations and safety.

“Cal Guard aircraft and crews train throughout the year so we’ll be ready when fire season inevitably arrives,” said Maj. Gen. David S. Baldwin, adjutant general of the California National Guard.

In order to conserve the water the crews will use, the staff will work closely with local water districts to identify drop areas in ravines and drainages that will allow the water to work its way back into the lake.

Cal Fire will hold similar trainings with the U.S. Marine Corps and Navy.

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