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Sequestration Will Hurt Firefighting Ability, Says California National Guard (Video)

Video

Bird's-eye view from CA National Guard aircraft during firefight

The California National Guard has played a key role in fighting the fires burning throughout the state. But Major General David Baldwin says the Guard's ability to fight future fires will be hampered by sequestration cuts.

One-fifth of the California National Guard's technicians will be furloughed if sequestration cuts ordered by the Pentagon go through.

In an interview with Bloomberg news, Baldwin said the furloughs ordered by the Pentagon will hurt the Guard's firefighting capabilities:

“It reduces our availability time by 20 percent, which during the fire season can be decisive. If those furloughs go through, it will have a direct and immediate impact.”

Chief Ken Pimlott, director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said recently that the Guard is crucial to the state's firefighting efforts:

"Our well-exercised and long-standing relationship with the California National Guard allows for rapid, effective deployment of these additional resources during times of elevated fire activity."

What does fighting a fire look like from up in the air? Well, the California National Guard posted bird's-eye view video from one of its aircraft as it dropped retardant on the Rock Fire near Santa Maria this past weekend. Posted up top!

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