CENTENNIAL, Colo. (KKCO) Under executive order one UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter with a crew of three Colorado Army National Guardsmen, Task Force Aviation, dropped 20 BamBi Buckets(r) of water onto the Waldo Canyon fire bringing the to-date total to 106 buckets, 48,760 gallons.
COARNG Soldiers and Airmen from Task Force Security established 13 Traffic control points and 5 security check points around the affected area of the fire. Airmen from the Colorado Air National Guard 140 Wing at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Colo., are riding along side Colorado Springs Police officers and providing security to the Incident Command post, staging area, and Spike Camp.
The Forest Service has mobilized all eight Department of Defense C-130s equipped with Modular Airborne Fire Fighting Systems. The airtankers are assisting with wildfire suppression efforts in Colorado and elsewhere.
These aircraft are currently based at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colo., however, four of the aircraft will be moving on Monday to Cheyenne, WY to minimize retardant reloading time as the MAFFS are being requested to work fires not only in Colorado, but also in other States out West.
To date, the MAFFS aircraft have conducted 83 sorties, 73 air drops and dropped more than 190,000 gallons of retardant in the Rocky Mountain Region with a primary focus on the Waldo Canyon fire.
This total of eight MAFFS is in addition to the nineteen airtankers currently available nationally to combat fires. More than 11,000 personnel, more than 700 fire engines and more than 110 helicopters are also fighting wildfires around the U.S., supporting state and local efforts.
As part of heightened efforts, the Forest Service is training an Army
battalion at Fort Carson, located near Colorado Springs, Colo., to
potentially serve as ground firefighters to boost the number of firefighters available for wildfire suppression throughout the nation.
The training involved one day of classroom training and one to two days of field training. During the classroom training, Soldiers learn about wildfire suppression including fire behavior and fireline safety.
During field training, Soldiers will receive instruction in fire suppression methods and procedures. This effort will ensure there are additional resources available should the U.S. Forest Service require them.
Since the beginning of the fire, Fort Carson units and services have
committed more than 120 soldiers, 10 bulldozers and other equipment and resources to provide assistance to ongoing fire containment operations and interagency support to the Greater Colorado Springs community.