National Guard fighting U.P. Wildfires

LANSING, MICH. -Gov. Rick Snyder has declared a state of disaster in both Luce and Schoolcraft counties due to massive wildfires.   The Michigan Army National Guard is assisting with aviation assets.  The governor’s declaration means that all state resources are available to protect public health and safety in the effort to fight the wildfires, including activating the Michigan Army National Guard.

“The Michigan Army National Guard is committed to work with local and federal

emergency personnel to protect the citizens of Michigan from the dangers of these fires,” said Maj. Gen. Gregory Vadnais, the adjutant general of the Army and Air National Guard.  “We have dedicated our personnel and equipment to help eradicate these significant fires and preserve our communities.”

The Michigan Army National Guard has activated an aviation support element, which includes 4 aircraft and approximately 40 personnel to combat the blazes.  “The Blackhawks typically, hoist 900-gallon buckets to unload water on fires.  This method has proven very successful in wildfires in other regions,” stated Capt. Aaron Jenkins, Michigan National Guard State Public Affairs Officer.