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National Guard aircrews, support teams continue assisting in high park fire relief efforts 
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Black Hawk firefighting 

FILE PHOTO: Colorado Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Marc R. Belo, a UH-60 Black Hawk crew chief from 2nd Battalion, 135th General Support Aviation, drops nearly 500 gallons of river water onto a wildfire burning the training range at Fort Carson, Colo., June 13, 2008. (Official Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Cheresa D. Theiral, Colorado National Guard/Released)

Click here or on the photo to download a high-resolution file.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Air National Guard Capt. Darin Overstreet

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (6/12/12) – National Guard air crews and support teams from Colorado and Wyoming are continuing firefighting efforts at the High Park fire in Larimer County, Colo.

These Citizen-Soldiers and -Airmen, some who live and work in Fort Collins and surrounding communities, represent neighbors and friends, whose sole mission is to protect property and ensure public safety.

To that end, Colorado Army National Guard aircrews dropped an estimated 5,200 gallons of water on the High Park Fire June 11.

Additional aircrews from the Kansas and Nebraska National Guard are en route, and are expected to start fighting fires starting June 13.

Currently, three UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, representing the Colorado and Wyoming National Guard, are based at the Fort Collins-Loveland Municipal Airport, where CONG fuelers are ensuring the expedient turnaround of aerial support.

In addition to firefighting and refueling, the Colorado National Guard is providing additional ground support, including communications, security and administrative, to augment first responders.


  • The National Guard Communications Element relieved the 8th Civil Support Team, and are providing a interoperable communications platform that allows multiple agencies, both military and civilian, to communicate via phone, internet and radio. The unit is made up of both Soldiers and Airmen from the Colorado Army and Air National Guard.

  • The National Guard Reaction Force, the 220th Military Police Company, is augmenting the Larimer County Sheriff's Department to ensure the protection of private property. The Soldiers represent the Colorado Army National Guard.

  • Two Soldiers are supporting providing administrative support for the Incident Command Team headquartered at the Colorado Army National Guard's Fort Collins Readiness Center.

  • Two additional Black Hawk helicopters, one from the Kansas Army National Guard and one from the Nebraska Army National Guard, are currently en route to Colorado and are scheduled to begin firefighting operations June 13.

The Colorado National Guard is operating under the governor’s executive order to assist the Colorado Division of Emergency Management and the Larimer County Sheriff’s Department in fighting the High Park fire.

National Guard support from neighboring states is being made available through the use of the emergency management assistance compact, a mutual-aid agreement that allows state-to-state assistance during declared states of emergency, and allows unaffected states to provide resources to affected states including the use of National Guard forces and equipment.

“We, as members of the National Guard, are always available and ready to support neighbors in need at the request of the governor,” said Adjutant General of Colorado Maj. Gen Mike Edwards, who commands the Colorado National Guard. “It’s our highest priority to respond immediately in times of need. We are neighbors helping neighbors -- and even neighboring states. That’s why we serve.”

The firefighting helicopters and crews are equipped with one BamBi Bucket® each. One bucket is capable of carrying and delivering nearly 500 gallons of water at a time.

One helicopter is also outfitted with hoist capability to perform medical evacuation, if necessary.

Public information is available at the Larimer County Emergency Information line at 970-498-5500 where Information Officers are answering the phone, and at www.larimer.org or on Twitter @larimersheriff, #highparkfire or Inciweb at http://www.inciweb.org/incident/2904.

National Guard Citizen-Soldiers and Citizen-Airmen are always ready, always there.

FOR EDITORS: The UH-60 Black hawk helicopters are being flown by Soldiers of the Army National Guard. Support personnel are Airmen from the Colorado Air National Guard and Soldiers from the Colorado Army National Guard. Collectively, these Soldiers and Airmen are National Guardsmen.


FILE PHOTOS (Lower North Fork Fire): http://bit.ly/OsIX2S



UH-60 Black Hawk: http://1.usa.gov/6kraJa

National Guard Reaction Force: http://bit.ly/MpQoHW

Civil Support Team: http://bit.ly/KqBMdK

Emergency Management Assistance Compact: http://bit.ly/MA4fZ4

National Guard Communications Element, who operate the Joint Continental United States Communications Support Environment: http://bit.ly/LQUxTg

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