Fort Carson supports firefighting efforts
FORT CARSON, Colo. -- A 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, CH-47 Chinook departs the forward air refueling point at the U.S. Air Force Academy en route to making more Bambi Bucket drops on the Black Forest Fire Wednesday. The specialized bucket can carry up to 2,000 gallons of water.

FORT CARSON, Colo. -- Bambi Bucket training came at the right time for pilots of the 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division. The training, completed in April, prepared them for the firefighting they are now doing.

Two CH-47 Chinooks and two UH-60 Black Hawks are providing fire drops on the Black Forest Fire utilizing the Bambi Bucket, a specialized bucket that carries up to 2,000 gallons of water, suspended on a cable carried by a helicopter for aerial firefighting. When the helicopter is in position, the crew opens the release valve to battle the fire below.

"Due to our training, we (are) able to react quicker than most agencies and our helicopters can get into areas that most aircraft cannot," Chief Warrant Officer 4 James Dowdy, battalion standardization officer and senior CH-47 Chinook pilot, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 4th Aviation Regiment, 4th CAB, 4th Inf. Div., said after the training in April.

In addition to the helicopters, a convoy departed Fort Carson headed to Black Forest Wednesday morning with four D7 bulldozers, maintenance support and fuel personnel from the 52nd Engineer Battalion to assist with firebreak efforts.

The Fort Carson Fire Department also sent nine personnel, two wildland fire engines, a water tender and an incident command vehicle.

The Joint Task Fort Carson support comes as a result of the Department of Defense's immediate response authority and a memorandum of agreement between El Paso County and the post.

In La Veta, south of Colorado Springs, Fort Carson firefighters from the PiƱon Canyon Maneuver Site Fire Station joined firefighting efforts at the request of civilian agencies. That assistance came through a mutual aid agreement between the post and surrounding communities along the Front Range.

The fire truck with water tender and four personnel were pulled back to PCMS after the fire west of Walsenburg was contained Wednesday morning.

Joint Task Force Carson remains prepared to assist firefighting efforts and provide support to the Colorado Springs community to the fullest extent possible, according to post officials.

Editor's note: Sgt. Jonathan C. Thibault, 4th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs Office, 4th Infantry Division, contributed to this article.

Page last updated Thu June 13th, 2013 at 12:05