FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, June 29, 2012
Air National Guard Capt. Darin Overstreet
UPDATE: As of 2 p.m. the Colorado Army National Guard Black Hawk and Chinook crews supporting the Eagle County authorities have resumed fire suppression activities for the Eby Creek fire at the request of the incident commander.
CENTENNIAL, Colo. (6/29/12) – At the request of the Colorado Department of Emergency Management more than 150 members of the Colorado Army and Air National Guard will establish security checkpoints around the Waldo Canyon fire perimeter within the next 24 hours.
Some units will be riding alongside Colorado Springs Police Officers.
At the request of the Colorado Department of Emergency Managment and Eagle County Sheriff, one UH-60 Black Hawk and one CH-47 Chinook from the High Altitude Army Aviation Training Facility in Eagle, Colo., used BamBi Buckets® to provide fire suppression support for the Eby Creek fire in Eagle County but, at the request of the incident commander, have switched to stand-by and are awaiting further tasking as the fire is currently under control.
In the mountainous Colorado terrain, Black Hawks are capable of carrying and delivering up to 500 gallons of water per bucket while Chinooks can haul 2000 gallons. At lower altitudes the capacity is slightly higher.
Under executive order the Colorado National Guard sent eight security personnel and one UH-60 Blackhawk to support the Waldo Canyon fire relief efforts yesterday.
“The men and women serving in our Colorado National Guard have responded immediately and effectively to provide lifesaving capabilities to assist local authorities fighting fires in multiple counties at their request,” said The Adjutant General of Colorado Maj. Gen. Mike Edwards. “We have thousands more Guard members standing ready in Colorado alone with capabilities that include firefighting, search & rescue, medical evacuation, security and communications support, to name a few.”
During the High Park fire response Citizen-Soldiers supported a 24/7 security mission at more than 10 checkpoints with a 50-person team. These teams, which dispatched June 12, have been downscaled but continue to provide security checkpoints as the fire continues to burn.
The COARNG is operating under the governor’s executive order to assist the Colorado Division of Emergency Management and the incident commanders in fighting the Waldo Canyon and High Park fires.
Colorado National Guard Citizen-Soldiers and Citizen-Airmen are always ready, always there to support when neighbors find themselves in harms way.
Photo gallery of CONG firefighting operations from the High Park fire: http://www.flickr.com/photos/conationalguard/sets/72157629692849721/
Fact Sheet UH-60 Black Hawk:
Fact Sheet for CH-47 Chinook:
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