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Minnesota National Guard Team to Help Fight Washington Fires

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St Paul, MN (KROC AM News)  – Some members of the Minnesota National Guard will be helping crews in Washington State in the ongoing effort to contain numerous wildfires that have been breaking out in recent weeks.

As part of an agreement between states, Governor Dayton Friday authorized the deployment of two Blackhawk helicopters and 13 members of the Army National Guard’s 34th Combat Aviation to assist in aerial firefighting efforts. The mission will last up to 15 days. Dayton’s action was in response to a request for assistance from Washington’s governor.

“Our aviators and crews have been training for such a mission,” said Colonel Rick Schute, the Minnesota National Guard Director of Operations.   “We provide the required personnel, equipment and partnerships to ensure we have a competent, ready force to meet the needs of our state and nation.”

Washington fire crews are exhausted after battling the fires non-stop and other states are also providing assistance. And for the first time, the state is calling on volunteers to help.

According to the governor’s office,  Washington is currently managing the suppression of fifteen different active fire complexes throughout their state, totaling over 230,000 affected acres.

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