CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4) – Gov. Jared Polis has verbally authorized the Colorado National Guard (CONG) to assist during the wildfires affecting Colorado.
At the request of the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC), a Colorado Army National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter aircrew is on standby at the High-Altitude Army National Guard Training Site (HAATS) in Gypsum. It will be available to provide a search and rescue capability to incident commanders.
“The Black Hawk is equipped with a hoist that can help to quickly evacuate firefighters and residents, saving lives,” officials stated.
The SEOC also requested that the CONG provide about 30 Soldiers to establish 24/7 traffic control points to assist the Larimer County Sheriff to restrict unauthorized access to the Cameron Peak Fire area of operations.
The CONG’s Mobile Testing and Training teams are also available to provide COVID-19 testing to wildland firefighting teams. About 40 CONG members are on duty with Task Force Test Support to conduct testing at facilities at the request of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
“Whether it’s the fight against COVID or the fight against drought-induced wildfires, Colorado’s National Guard is ready to rise to the challenge to help our communities,” said Gov. Polis. “We are thankful to the Guardsmen and women for their support during this challenging time.”
CONG planners are also supporting local emergency operation centers in Colorado communities that the state has designated during the state’s COVID-19 response.