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Colo. National Guardsmen continuing firefighting support 
By Colorado National Guard Public Affairs 
UH-60 water bucket 

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

For more imagery of National Guard forces fighting the High Park fire, visit us on Flickr and YouTube.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, June 12, 2013

CONTACT:
El Paso County Sheriff
Public Information Officer
Lt. Jeff Kramer
jeffkramer@elpasoco.com
719-520-7244

Colorado National Guard
Public Affairs
Capt. Darin Overstreet
ng.co.coarng.list.staff-pao2@mail.mil
720-250-1053

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (6/12/13) – Nearly 75 personnel from the Colorado Army and Air National Guard are continuing to assist civil authorities with firefighting support at the Black Forest fire in El Paso County, Colo.

A total of three UH-60 Black Hawks, each equipped with a Bambi Bucket® capable of carrying and delivering nearly 500 gallons of water at a time, have dropped approximately 30,000 gallons of water on the fire so far.

One LUH-72 Lakota helicopter has also been provided for aerial firefighting coordination.

Thirteen members of the 1157th Firefighting Company (Engineers), along with their firefighting trucks and tenders, are also actively engaged in fighting the fire.

Two Wyoming National Guard Civil Support Team personnel provided an initial commercial internet and phone support bridge between military and civilian responders until they were relieved by eight Airmen  from the Colorado National Guard’s Joint Incident Site Communications Capability team 16. The JISCC team will continue to support the incident command with communications support as needed.

Additionally, 40 personnel from Colorado’s National Guard Reaction Force have been placed at security checkpoints in the Black Forest area.

The Colorado Army National Guard is operating in state active-duty status to assist the El Paso County Sheriff’s Department in fighting the Black Forest fire.

“It’s always painful to see neighbors in harm’s way,” said Adjutant General of Colorado Maj. Gen Mike Edwards, who commands the Colorado National Guard. “That’s why domestic operations is one of the most rewarding missions we have in the National Guard. I have every confidence in the Colorado National Guard Citizen-Soldiers we have supporting civil authorities. Not only are most combat veterans, but they are wildfire veterans from the tragic fires of last summer.”

The Colorado Army National Guard helicopters and crews launched from the Army Aviation Support Facility on Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Colo., and are members of 2nd Battalion, 135th General Support Aviation.

Public information is available on Twitter @epcpio #BlackForestFire.

Colorado National Guard Citizen-Soldiers are always ready, always there to support civil authorities.

For more information about the fire operations, contact Lieutenant Jeff Kramer, El Paso County Sheriff Public Information Officer, jeffkramer@elpasoco.com, 719-520-7244. For information about the Colorado National Guard, contact, Capt. Darin Overstreet, 720-250-1053.

FOR EDITORS: The UH-60 Black Hawk and LUH-72 Lakota helicopters are being flown by Soldiers of the Colorado 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:

Colorado National Guard firefighting: http://bit.ly/1bvVyfb

File video:

National Guard firefighting: http://bit.ly/KZQeZI

B-roll:

Bambi-Bucket ® drops: http://bit.ly/17H61HJ

Fact sheets:

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

LUH-72 Lakota: http://1.usa.gov/13XDU1u

National Guard Reaction Force: http://bit.ly/1bvVo7H

Civil Support Team: http://bit.ly/17H5cP7

Emergency Management Assistance Compact: http://bit.ly/19qiSyz

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

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6/11/2013