SD Army National Guard training to fight wildfires - KOTA Territory News

SD Army National Guard training to fight wildfires

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 Wildfires are running rampant in California, but just how prepared are crews here for fire season?

Army National Guard helicopter pilots and ground crews from throughout the state spent Friday afternoon training with the South Dakota Wildland Fire Division at Angostura Reservoir.

The drills test the pilots and crew's ability to collect & drop water safely and accurately in a variety of scenarios.

The training is all part of the annual fire aviation certification process, insuring that pilots and firefighters on the ground are prepared to combat wildfires from the air.

Ray Bubb of the South Dakota Wildland Fire division says the state is unique in how they utilize the National Guard to help fight fire.

"We were one of the first agencies ever to pick up their National Guard helicopters and use them for firefighting services. We basically wrote the book here in South Dakota.", Bubb said.

He is cautiously optimistic that the amount of moisture that has fallen this winter and spring will make for a mild fire season in the Black Hills.
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