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National Guard Helicopters Fight North Dakota Wildfire

By Bill Prokopyk North Dakota National Guard

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BISMARCK, N.D., April 14, 2015 — The North Dakota Army National Guard yesterday launched two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters in support of a request by emergency responders battling a wildfire south of Bismarck, near the residential area of Briardale.

Yesterday, North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple extended an executive order that authorizes the adjutant general to activate North Dakota National Guard resources in support of local and tribal governments fighting wildfires.

The first Black Hawk launched at 3:57 p.m. CST from the Guard’s Army Aviation Support Facility south of the Bismarck airport. The second helicopter launched at 5 p.m.

The Black Hawks are assigned to the Bismarck-based Company C, 2nd Battalion, 285th Aviation Regiment and will use 600-gallon water buckets to help control the wildfire.

The helicopters will scoop water out of the Missouri River and will assist as fuel and flying conditions allow or until the mission is complete.