Several military helicopters will fly over the Denver metro area this week as crews train for the upcoming wildfire season.
The Colorado Army National Guard’s 2nd Brigade, 135th General Support Aviation Battalion, is hosting an annual wildland fire training conference April 13-18 with local, state and federal partners. The training will last from about 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. each day.
Residents around the Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Chatfield and Strontia Springs Reservoirs, and Button Rock Reservoir in Lyons may see crews flying military helicopters — including a LUH-72 Lakota, UH-60 Black Hawk, and CH-47 Chinook — throughout the week as part of this annual training. The aircrafts will drop water on simulated fire sites.
Adjutant General of Colorado Brig. Gen. Laura Clellan said this training will validate the Colorado National Guard's readiness to protect people during the wildfire season.
"The equipment our soldiers use for warfighting increases our fire suppression capability while crews are at home," Clellan said.
Crews from Colorado as well as Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Wyoming will participate in the exercises. Aside from aerial operations, they will also take part in academic training of fire behavior, fire shelters, and airspace coordination.