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Jun-24-2008 19:08printcomments

State Militias Join California National Guard Planes in Battling Wildfires

The Walker Fire which involved 8,600 acres is at ~5% containment.

A C-130 Hercules aircraft drops fire retardant chemicals on a wildfire.  Photo: California Air National Guard
A C-130 Hercules aircraft drops fire retardant chemicals on a wildfire. Photo: California Air National Guard

(MATHER FIELD, Calif.) - The California National Guard says that with support from National Guard units from other states, it is currently providing six rotary aircraft and five fixed-wing aircraft to assist in extinguishing various northern California wildfires today.

Officials report that the Walker Fire which involved 8,600 acres, is at ~5% containment.

The California Guard has called up the various aircraft to handle specific roles in the firefighting effort. They include the following:

1 UH-60L Blackhawk out of Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base (Los Al), capable of performing water-bucket drops, personnel transport, and observation missions.

1 UH-60L Firehawk out of Los Al performing fire suppression using its belly water tank, that can hold up to 1,000 gallons of water.

1 CH-47 Chinook out of Stockton, Calif. capable of performing water-bucket drops, personnel transport, and observation missions.

1 OH-58 out of Los Al performing observational and trailing missions for other aircraft.

1 Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck from Stockton, Calif., which is providing fuel to CNG aircraft.

California Fire officials say they have 5% containment on the Chico area fires and other various fires in the area totaling more than 3,500 acres. For this effort they have deployed the following aircraft:

2 C-130H aircraft from the North Carolina Air National Guard (NCANG) equipped with Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System, which is capable of dropping up to 3,000 gallons of water or retardant.

1 C-130H aircraft from the NCANG performing personnel and equipment transportation

1 C-130J out of Channel Islands, Calif. performing personnel and equipment transportation.

1 RC-26 observational fixed-wing aircraft, which has various imaging capabilities to include ability to send real-time video images to personnel on the ground.

1 UH-60A out of Fresno, Calif. capable of performing water-bucket drops, personnel transport, and observation missions.

1 UH-60L from Nevada National Guard capable of performing water-bucket drops, personnel transport, and observation missions.

1 IC4U truck from CNG Joint Forces Headquarters in Sacramento, which receives video from RC-26 and relays to first responders.

Yesterday, the CNG assisted first responders with successfully containing the Napa fire with the following air assets: four UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters from Los Alamitos Joints Forces Training Base and a CH-47 from Stockton Flight Facility, which are both equipped with fire suppression devices. The CNG also provided support with one heavy expanded mobility tactical fuel truck (HEMTT), one government vehicle, and personnel to operate these vehicles.




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