National Guard assists with wildfire efforts
At the direction of Gov. Mark Dayton, the Minnesota National Guard was activated yesterday for State Active Duty to assist with wildfire suppression operations.
"Since the Buffalo Ranch and River Road wildfires in the vicinity of Red Lake have been contained, Minnesota National Guard assets have been redirected to the Park Rapids Airport to assist with wildfire suppression operations for the Green Valley fire located south of Park Rapids, said Army Maj. Bruce A. Kraemer, liaison officer for the 34th Combat Aviation Brigade, 34th Infantry Division.
Yesterday morning the Minnesota National Guard sent one UH-60 "Blackhawk", one CH-47 "Chinook" helicopter with bambi buckets and two Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical trucks to the Thief River Falls Regional Airport to assist with wildfire suppression efforts Northwest of Red Lake, said Army Maj. Scott J. Rohweder, chief of operations for the Joint Operations Center, Minnesota National Guard.
"Last night, an additional support request came from the Minnesota Interagency Fire Center and Department of Natural of Resources for a second Minnesota National Guard UH-60 "Blackhawk" with bambi bucket," said Rohweder.
Twenty-two soldiers to include aircrews, maintenance and fuel support teams are currently on State Active Duty assisting with wildfire suppression operations, Kraemer said.