National Guard provides indispensable help during Thomas Fire in Santa Barbara

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Security has increased up and around the foothills of Santa Barbara with National Guard troops.

Their presence can be seen all along Salinas Street in the city of Santa Barbara. There are 13 different intersections with guards securing those roadways.

The National Guard is assisting the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office with barricades to make sure no one enters the areas that have been closed off for mandatory evacuations due to the Thomas Fire. They are also here to make sure people are not in the way of fire officials in case flames were to flare up once again.

“They are just covering barricades so people do not go into those areas that are under mandatory closure," said Ruben Cintron with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office. "In terms of the looters, we have our people and people from San Luis and other agencies that are assisting us with patrolling all the areas that have been evacuated to ensure that looters are not in those areas."

The National Guard has been assisting the Sheriff's department for the past three days, and there is no word yet how long they will stay. A primary function of the National Guard is to assist when disaster strikes anywhere in the country.

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