California National Guard to leave border, help stop fires

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – California is calling in the National Guard for the first time to help protect communities from wildfires like the one that destroyed much of the city of Paradise last fall.

The state is pulling the troops away from President Donald Trump’s border protection efforts and devoting them to fire protection, another area where the president has been critical of California officials.

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Starting next month, 110 California National Guard troops will receive 11 days of training in using shovels, rakes and chain saws to thin trees and brush.

They’ll be divided into five teams that will work on forest management projects around the state.

The projects are intended to slow advancing flames. Critics say they damage forests and can be useless against wind-driven fires.

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Meteorologist Justin Roth weather forecasts can be seen weekend evenings on ABC 36 at 6:30 PM at 11 PM. Justin will also forecast the weather at 10 PM (MyKY 36.2) three days a week. Justin comes to WTVQ from the NBC affiliate in Casper, WY and interned in Knoxville, TN all where he gained the understandings of forecasting mountainous terrains and rapidly changing environments. His forecasts are for YOUR day and making YOUR life just a bit easier. Justin was born and raised in Saint Louis, Missouri, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Meteorology from Western Illinois University with Minors in Broadcasting and Mathematics. His interest in weather began at a young age when his parents gave him a book, ‘First Field Guide To Weather’ for his Birthday, ever since then weather has been a passion of his from forecasting to chasing tornadoes. When not forecasting the weather, Justin enjoys exploring new places and anything outdoors. He’s a self-proclaimed history buff and loves rooting for favorite sport teams, The St. Louis Cardinals and Blues. Please feel free to share any outdoor picture you’d like to share with him send them his way at JRoth@wtvq.com And be sure to follow him: Twitter - @JustinRothWx Instagram - @JustinRothWx