Montana Air National Guard deployed to fight fires - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Montana Air National Guard deployed to fight fires

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66 men and women from the Montana Air National Guard volunteered on Wednesday to help fight fires during this record breaking fire season.

We were told they could be deployed anywhere because, there are fires burning all over the state.

They received their first day of training here in Great Falls at the 120th Airlift Wing, and then were transported down to Helena for the rest of their training before they get sent out to the fires the department of natural resources needs them at.

“So right now those 66 are here at Fort Harrison and their learning how to fight fires basically. They are getting fire training, that includes suppression and mop up tactics, patrolling, radio communication, fire line construction, water and hose use, and then also deploying fire shelters” says Capt. Ryan Finnegan.

Now these 66 men and women of the Montana Air National Guard have a fifteen day deployment, the deployment started on Wednesday when they were activated, and will end on Thursday the 28th, these members then have the choice to extend their deployment.

One big thing is these Air National Guard men and women are being deployed weeks after nearly 500 of the Army National Guard were deployed to help fight these fires. Officers say it’s because of the department of natural resources and conservations decision based on the fires and their locations.

“It wasn't a preference or anything like that, it was just the needs of the fire and where the fires were located that we activated personnel. We activate who we need for the DNRC when required” says Finnegan.

Once we find out what fires these Montana Air National Guard men and women will be fighting. We will be sure to let you know.

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