National Aviation History Month; fighting fires from the air

During fire season, DNR helicopters can be off the ground and enroute to a fire within 5 minutes of dispatch. PHOTO: Janet Pearce
During fire season, DNR helicopters can be off the ground and enroute to a fire within 5 minutes of dispatch. PHOTO: Janet Pearce

DNR keeps eight helicopters staffed and ready to go each day throughout the state’s lengthy wildfire season. The specially trained crews are transported by helicopter into remote and rugged areas to fight wildfires. They are an important part of DNR’s Wildfire Program, because they can get to wildfires while they are small – a safer and more efficient way to put fires out is to suppress them before they grow into massive wildfires.

Large wildfires create a huge risk to health, human safety, and natural resources, but they also cost exponentially more to suppress as they grow in size. Helicopter crews can be off the ground and enroute to a fire within five minutes of dispatch. By using helicopter crews, we can more quickly and more effectively contain wildfires throughout the state.

Learn about the history and training of DNRs Aviation Program on our website. Check out photos of crews in action, and find out what it takes to get one of these jobs.

 

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