California is preparing to mobilize National Guard troops to reduce the threat of wildfires by clearing hazardous dead trees, vegetation and creating fuel breaks, according to Cal Fire.
The fire agency has identified nearly three dozen priority projects in more than 200 communities around the state in areas considered high fire-risk zones. It comes as the state is bracing for perhaps another tough wildfire season after devastating 2017 and 2018 blazes that killed more than 120 people.
Some of the National Guard troops set to help in the wildfire prevention efforts previously were focused on assisting in the Trump administration’s U.S. border request. In February, California Gov. Gavin Newsom rebuked President Donald Trump’s “manufactured crisis” at the border by announcing plans to pull more than 250 troops from the southern border. Last April, California’s previous governor, Jerry Brown, agreed to send about 400 of the state’s troopsto the border at the request of Trump, who cited “a crisis” at the border due to a “combination of illegal drugs, dangerous gang activity, and extensive illegal immigration.”