In response to the Governor’s Emergency Proclamation concerning the devastating wildfire burning in Kittitas County, the Washington National Guard deployed two helicopters equipped with water buckets this afternoon.

One CH-47 Chinook helicopter with a 2,000 gallon water bucket and four person crew, and one UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter with a 660 gallon water bucket with a three person crew have joined partner jurisdictions already combating the blaze.

“We are committed to protecting the lives and property of our fellow Washingtonians, and we will do everything we can to prevent further destruction,” said Brigadier General Bret Daugherty, the Adjutant General and commander of the Washington National Guard.

The pilots and crew of the responding aircraft are members of the Washington Army National Guard’s 66th Theater Aviation Command. They have been specially trained and certified for water bucket missions by the U.S. Forest Service.

Information courtesy of Washington National Guard, Camp Murray.