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NEWS | April 14, 2023

Wisconsin Guard Black Hawks Respond to Large Wildfire

By Vaughn R. Larson, Department of Military Affairs

MADISON, Wis. - Two Wisconsin Army National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters from the Army Aviation Support Facility #2 helped battle a wildfire near Necedah in Juneau County April 12.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources requested the Black Hawks to bolster emergency fire support for what it called the Black River complex — two wildfires in Juneau County. 

One fire in the Jack Pine area affected more than 80 acres and resulted in the evacuation of residents but was contained by the evening of April 11. The second fire was near Fort McCoy and affected more than 2,800 acres. That fire was roughly 50% contained as of April 13.

The Black Hawk helicopters used large buckets to drop water on the wildfire area. The DNR said three Black Hawks were expected to help fight the fire April 13.

Before the Black River complex fire, Gov. Tony Evers declared a state of emergency April 12 in response to elevated wildfire conditions. This emergency order allows the National Guard to be called to state active duty if needed.

“This is a real-time demonstration of the incredible value the Wisconsin National Guard provides,” said Maj. Gen. Paul Knapp, Wisconsin’s adjutant general. “Our dual mission status makes critical assets like these Black Hawk aircraft available to the governor in emergencies such as this wildfire. Our Soldiers and Airmen continuously train to meet the needs of both our state and federal missions, whenever called upon.”



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