Idaho National Guard Ready To Assist


By Alexa Tieu
By KBOI News

Boise, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) Thanks to federal budget cuts, there could be fewer firefighters battling Idaho's wildfires.

Because of this... The Idaho National Guard says they are ready to help fight wildfires, and they have a new tool to do it.

The Guard will be using a helicopter just off a mission in Afghanistan.

The helicopter can hold up to 1,000 gallons of water.

Right now the guard is doing some maintenance on the new tool.

But they say soon you might see it training in the skies above Boise.

"It's a great asset. It will help us to be better able to fight the forest and range fires out here in Idaho. Instead of just a normal khaki green it will have the white and orange tank underneath it and you'll be able to see us out fighting fires," explains Mart Holdaway, Chief Warrant Officer.

The Idaho National Guard is only called upon by the governor to assist with fires when they've gotten out of hand.

For example, last summer the national guard helped fire crews battle the Mustang Complex and the Trinity Ridge fires, but only after Governor Butch Otter made a disaster declaration.

The Idaho National Guard can also be called to help fight fires in other states.

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