National Guard Responding to U.S. Wildfires
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, May. 14, 2007 National Guard troops are responding to wildfires in Florida, Georgia, Minnesota and California, using air assets to deliver water and providing logistics and communication support.
In Florida, 84 Army National Guard troops are currently activated in response to fires in Flagler County, according to information from the National Guard Bureau. Since May 5, Florida National Guard assets have flown 67 hours, 445 sorties, and dropped 379,360 gallons of water. A 32-personnel ground force is conducting mop-up training, and three helicopters are assisting with the Dairy Road Fire, in Bradford County.
The Georgia National Guard is providing 42 troops in response to fires in the southeastern part of the state. As of May 11, Georgia National Guard assets, including two CH-47 Chinook helicopters and two UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters, have flown 302 hours, delivering more than 5 million gallons of water. Twelve Army National Guard personnel with two Humvees, three 2.5-ton trucks, and one water buffalo are assisting with logistics support. In addition, three Air National Guard troops with one pickup truck are providing communication support.
In Minnesota, the National Guard has deployed two UH-60s along with crews, and two fuel trucks with drivers and fuel handlers. The troops are dropping water to prevent continued flare-ups of a previously contained fire.
The California National Guard provided eight troops in response to a fire on Catalina Island. Between May 9 and 13, two CH-47s with eight personnel on annual training status were used fly 103 civilian firefighters to the island, and two CH-47s are on standby to deploy again if needed.