Wednesday, August 21, 2013
As several wildfires burn across the state, the California Air and Army National Guard are teaming up with CAL FIRE and U.S. Forest Service firefighting crews to battle the blazes.
-Three UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters are fighting the American Fire near Foresthill.
-Two Black Hawks are battling the Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park.
-Three helicopters (two Black Hawks and one CH-47 Chinook) are involved in fighting the the Swedes Fire in Butte County.
Today, the escalating fires prompted Air National Guardsmen from the 129th Rescue Wing, along with two HH-60G Pave Hawk rescue helicopters, to head for Mather Air Force Base. Col. Steven J. Butow, 129th RQW Commander, explained...
"Almost immediately after receiving orders to provide support for our wildfire operations from headquarters in Sacramento, our Airmen gathered their gear and headed to Mather. As rescue professionals, we have the ability to respond rapidly to any challenge we're given, anytime and anywhere."
The HH-60G Pave Hawk rescue helicopter performs water bucket missions during wildfires. I've posted video up top, courtesy of the California National Guard, of the chopper in action during recent training exercises.