By Colorado National GuardAugust 24, 2018
CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- The Colorado National Guard completed aviation firefighting in support of the incident commander overseeing the Cache Creek Fire in Garfield County, Colorado.
As of Tuesday, crews flew more than 47 flight hours, performed over 417 water dips and dropped more than 191,800 gallons of water on the fire.
Aircrews flying two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters equipped with aerial water buckets were operating from Rifle Airport in Rifle, Colorado, since Aug. 14.
"Colorado National Guard Soldiers and Airmen are proud to be part of the effort to help our neighbors in Garfield County," said U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Gregory White, commander of Joint Task Force-Centennial.
On order of Gov. John Hickenlooper, the standing Joint Task Force - Centennial commands and integrates CONG forces to support civil authorities in Colorado, or supported states, during times of crisis and disaster, to save lives, prevent suffering, and mitigate great property damage.
The helicopters and crews launched from the Chief Warrant Officer 5 David R. Carter Army Aviation Support Facility based at Buckley Air Force Base, Aurora, Colorado.
Meanwhile in Minnesota, Gov. Mark Dayton on Thursday activated the Minnesota National Guard to help firefighters combat a 500-acre wildfire in Beltrami County.
Dayton's executive order came just 24 hours after the fire extended beyond a Department of Natural Resources prescribed burn to manage brush in northwestern Minnesota, according to the Star Tribune.
So far, the fire is contained to the Beltrami Island State Forest and does not threaten any structures or private land, authorities said.
Plans call for the National Guard will assist the DNR by providing two water-dropping helicopters.
"The women and men of the Minnesota National Guard are trained and ready to take on this important mission," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, the guard's adjutant general."We will do all we can to successfully support this firefighting effort."