Governor greets guard members helping with wildfires; Black Hawk gets pink makeoverWednesday July 28, 2021
(Lewiston) – Amid extreme drought, excessive heat, multiple fire starts and dwindling firefighting resources regionwide, Governor Brad Little issued an emergency declaration for wildfire this month and mobilized Idaho National Guard firefighters and aircraft to assist in the effort. Two Idaho National Guard Black Hawk helicopters along with crews, support personnel and other equipment were in Lewiston, Idaho Tuesday.
Part of aircraft preparedness is to be sure the olive drab helicopters can be seen from the ground as well as from the air so they are painted in pink markings. The crews were greeted by Governor Little at Lewiston’s Hillcrest Aircraft Company Tuesday. See broadcast-quality video and images here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/os2gy1ih0nm3lor/AAD7w-vgtYio6W70BnzN7Uvua?dl=0
“It is our honor to be up here helping out,” said 1st Lt. Lucas Glauser, officer in charge of Idaho Army Aviation fire operations. “I don’t know a single person who isn’t excited about getting this opportunity.”
So far the Idaho National Guard Black Hawk crews have been assisting primarily with the Cougar Rock and Snake River complexes. To date, they have dropped nearly 140,000 gallons of water on fires throughout the region.
“Wildfire is presenting an imminent threat to life, property, and the environment,” Gov. Little said. “I appreciate our firefighters and fire managers for working so hard under such challenging conditions, and I am grateful that the Guard is able to step in to support Idaho communities.”
It is the first time the Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) has requested the governor issue an emergency declaration to make Idaho National Guard resources available for fighting wildfire on the 6.2 million acres of land where IDL provides fire protection.
Idaho Department of Lands
About IDL Fire: Idaho Department of Lands Fire Management (IDL Fire) in partnership with two Timber Protection Associations and with the support of rural volunteer fire departments and other partners, are responsible for fire suppression and prevention on more than 6 million acres of state and private forests and rangelands in Idaho. IDL Fire focuses on initial attack with the goal of keeping fires at 10 acres or less. IDL Fire protects and preserves important endowment timber assets that help fund Idaho schools and other beneficiaries, as well as millions of acres of private forestland.