California’s timber industry is calling on the military to help control fires
As California confronts peak wildfire season with fewer firefighters than usual, the state’s timber industry is pushing federal and state officials to take the unprecedented step of calling in the National Guard and the U.S. military before fires get out of control. California has sought military assistance in past years when its firefighting crews were overwhelmed. But logging companies say this year the state shouldn’t wait until it needs help. Worsening heat and drought across California have led to dire predictions for this season, which traditionally is at its worst between July and October. At the same time, the U.S. Forest Service, which has long struggled with staffing shortages, has been scrambling to fill positions.