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Colo. Guard suspends firefighting, operations to continue tomorrow 
Colorado National Guard Public Affairs 
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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Air National Guard Master Sgt. Cheresa D. Theiral

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (3/28/12) – The Colorado Army National Guard has suspended firefighting operations for the evening at the Lower North Fork fire in Jefferson County, Colo.

The COARNG will continue efforts tomorrow.

The two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and their crews began fighting fires yesterday, and continued into today. Also today, the governor authorized the use of two more UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, bringing a total of four aircraft to the firefight.

Colorado crews have dropped more than 49,000 gallons of natural fire suppression from the Platte River and Strontia Springs Reservoir.

The Colorado Army National Guard is operating under the governor’s executive order to assist the Colorado Division of Emergency Management in fighting the Lower North Fork fire.

“We, as members of the National Guard, see it fit to always be available and ready to support those in need at the request of the governor,” said Adjutant General of Colorado Maj, Gen H. Michael Edwards, who commands the Colorado National Guard. “It’s our highest priority to respond immediately in times of need. That’s why we serve.”

The helicopters and crews originally launched from the Army Aviation Support Facility on Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Colo., equipped with one BamBi Bucket® each. One bucket is capable of carrying and delivering nearly 500 gallons of water at a time.

The flight crew comprises a total of 12 Colorado Army National Guard Citizen-Soldiers of 2nd Battalion, 135th General Support Aviation.

Also supporting the fight are two fuel handlers, who are operating a refueling truck at the helipad near the incident command post, and ensuring the quick turnaround for helicopter crews.

For more than 150 years, the Colorado National Guard has served our nation in wartime and is the first military responder during state emergencies. CONG Citizen-Soldiers and Citizen-Airmen are always ready, always there to support civil authorities.

The Colorado Army National Guard is supporting this mission.

No other information is available at this time.

Fact Sheet UH-60 Black Hawk: http://www.army.mil/factfiles/equipment/aircraft/blackhawk.html