ST. PAUL - At the direction of Gov. Dayton, two Minnesota National Guard UH-60 "Blackhawk" helicopters with aircrew, maintenance and fuel support teams are assisting the ongoing efforts to control the fire near Nimrod, today.
"Due to the low precipitation levels this past year, we anticipated there may be a request for our help in assisting with fire suppression efforts," said Army Maj. Scott J. Rohweder, chief of operations for the Joint Operations Center, Minnesota National Guard.
"We're working closely with the Minnesota Interagency Fire Center and Department of Natural of Resources to manage support requests," said Rohweder.
"Army Aviation Support Facilities from St. Cloud and St. Paul, Minn., provided aircraft," said Army Capt. Marc L. Rassler, liaison officer for the 34th Combat Aviation Brigade, 34th Infantry Division. "Aircraft departed at 10 a.m. today and arrived at Staples Municipal Airport. A total of 12 soldiers are supporting the fire suppression efforts."
"We refreshed our water bucket training last week at Camp Ripley during their controlled burns," said Rassler. "This provided an opportunity for realistic training and working with agencies such as the DNR."
According to the Minnesota Incident Command System, the fire is more than 1,400 acres in size.