National Guard Arrives at July Complex

natguardNEAR ETNA, Cal. – Conditions on the July Complex have forced the National Guard to send ground crews to Northern California for the first time in six years.

The National Guard unit arrived at fire camp on Saturday.

While it isn’t uncommon to see National Guard air resources on local fires, officers say the ground crews are only brought in when there are so many fires that local agencies are spread thin.

“We have the cooperative agreements,” said Julie Avey, an Information Officer with the California National Guard. “They call us up so that they have reinforcements.”

The last time National Guard ground crews were in the area was in 2008 in Mariposa County.

National Guard spokespeople say the crews don’t bring any unique resources or expertise above what agencies like Cal Fire can offer, but rather bolster numbers on the ground when needed.