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Colo. Guard aircrews continue fighting Lower North Fork fire 
Colorado National Guard Public Affairs 
Lower North Fork fire 

A UH-60 Black Hawk with the Colorado Army National Guard’s 2nd Battalion, 135th General Support Aviation, fills a 500-gallon water bucket at Strontia Springs Reservoir in the vicinity of Conifer, Colo., March 28, 2012. The 2-135th GSAB is operating under the Colorado governor’s executive order to assist the Colorado Department of Emergency Management and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department in fighting the Lower North Fork fire, which began March 26 in Jefferson County, Colo. The fire has given rise to the evacuation of more than 900 homes and is estimated to have covered more than 4,000 acres. (Army National Guard photo by Spc. Bethany Fehringer/RELEASED)

Click on the photo or here for a high-resolution image.

More photos from this operation are available on Flickr.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Air National Guard Master Sgt. Cheresa D. Theiral

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (3/29/12) – The Colorado Army National Guard is continuing firefighting operations for the evening at the Lower North Fork fire in Jefferson County, Colo.

The COARNG began supporting operations March 27.

The support operation began with two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and their crews. Yesterday, 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 and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department 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.

Photo gallery of current UH-60 firefighting operations: http://www.flickr.com/photos/conationalguard/sets/72157629692849721

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

Get the most up-to-date information on overall firefighting efforts on JeffCo Sheriff’s blog, http://www.jeffcosheriff1.blogspot.com and on Twitter @jeffcosheriffco #LowerNorthForkFire. Don’t have a Twitter account? Don’t know how to use twitter? Simply visit www.twitter.com/jeffcosheriffco to see all the latest updates (tweets). You do not have to create an account to see the tweets.