Firefighting, Wildland Firefighting

Federal Cuts Threaten CA National Guard Wildland Firefighting Fleet

The automatic federal spending cuts known as sequestration may impact the California National Guard’s ability to provide aircraft resources for fighting wildland fires.

Bloomberg News reports (http://bloom.bg/10nTU9g) that the largest National Guard force in the United States was told to prepare for a 20 percent furlough of its 2,000 full-time technicians, most of whom work on aircraft.

“[Sequestration] reduces our availability time by 20 percent, which during the fire season can be decisive,” Major General David Baldwin said in an interview. “If those furloughs go through, it will have a direct and immediate impact.”

Wildfire activity is already unusual in California this season, with the massive Springs fire threatening numerous homes earlier this week in Ventura County.

Read more on the cuts and their impact at http://bloom.bg/10nTU9g.