Wednesday afternoon, Helitack (helicopter-attack) firefighter crews trained in Colville to get ready for the Fourth of July weekend, and the rest of the summer. The extended weekend brings more people into the woods, which increases risks of accidental fire starts. Using helicopters for transportation, these specially trained crews can be quickly transported into remote and rugged areas to fight wildfires.
Large wildfires create a huge risk to health, human safety and natural resources. Using Helitack crews allows DNR to move quickly and effectively contain wildfires throughout the state - saving taxpayers money.
Helitack crews attack fires while they are small, using aircraft to transport up to six fire personnel to the fire, dump big buckets of water directly on the flames and get firefighters close to the fire-fight.
Providing statewide aviation support to fire suppression efforts throughout the fire season, DNR staffs five helicopters. The aircraft can be off the ground and enroute to a fire within five minutes of dispatch.
History and training of the DNR Helitack Program
DNR’s Flickr site for photos of the training
Information from EAR TO GROUND
IMAGE/During fire season, DNR helicopters can be off the ground and enroute to a fire within 5 minutes of dispatch. PHOTO: Janet Pearce