Wildland firefighters from the Bureau of Land Management, other federal agencies and local cooperators are training in the safe and effective use of helicopter operations on wildfire incidents this week. About 25 students are enrolled in the training; which is being sponsored by the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control (DFPC).
Students will gain hands-on proficiency in the tactical and logistical use of helicopters to achieve efficiency and awareness of nationally recognized standards. Classroom training during much of the week is followed by a field exercise with a DFPC-contracted helicopter on Friday, Sept. 26. During the field exercise, students will practice shuttling firefighting crews and using helicopters to transport cargo.
The field exercise will take place on BLM managed lands about 1.5 miles southwest of Montrose along Highway 90 in an area popular for target shooting. Due to the helicopter activity, that area will be closed on Friday, Sept. 26, for the safety of the public. Highway 90 will remain open.
Wildfire response often involves the use of aviation resources and can include a variety of aircraft and operations. Helicopters are used to drop water, transport crews, reconnaissance, infrared heat detection, and deliver supplies to firefighters. Federal, state, local, and tribal agencies continue to train firefighters to their highest safety standards, including placing emphasis on understanding and safely responding to the dynamics of highly complex and hazardous situations.
To learn more, contact Chris Barth, BLM Fire Mitigation and Education Specialist, at 970-240-5317 or firstname.lastname@example.org.