National Guard Ready for Washington Fires

Soldiers from both the Washington state and Montana National Guard have been called up to help fight the destructive wildfires that have been raging throughout Washington.

100 soldiers from the Washington National Guard have been put on standby, and up to 1,000 more could receive additional fire training. The Montana National Guard also sent 17 soldiers and two CH-47 Chinook helicopters as part of a mutual aid agreement between the states of Montana and Washington. In addition to the National Guard, there are also about 1,600 firefighters and about 100 firetrucks, helicopters and aircraft working to control and put out the fires.

The Washington fires, which caused a state of emergency to be declared on July 15 for the 20 affected counties, has burned over 370 square miles. There have been about 50 smaller fires that have been fueled by the dry conditions, gusting winds, and frequent lightning.

Fortunately, calmer winds and cooler temperatures have allowed the firefighters and National Guard soldiers to go on the offensive against the fires.