Arizona Guard helicopters go to fight California wildfires


FILE – An Arizona National Guard helicopter takes off to deliver medical supplies to the remote Navajo Nation town of Kayenta, Tuesday, March 31, 2020, in Phoenix. Several dozen guardsmen have been dispatched to the hard-hit reservation to build a temporary hospital and resupply clinics. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin – FILE)

PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona National Guard has sent three helicopters and 30 soldiers to help fight wildfires in California.

The UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters departed Friday from the Guard’s base in Phoenix. Officials said the deployment is expected to last about two weeks.

The assistance was requested by the California Office of Emergency Services, officials said.

The helicopters are equipped to fight wildfires and their crews are certified in wildfire response.

Guard helicopters were used earlier this year as part of the responses to at least two Arizona wildfires.

The assistance was requested by the California Office of Emergency Services, officials said.

The deployment adds to what the Guard called a record level of activations this year, including support of wildfire responses, COVID-19 relief efforts, the Southwest Border Mission and support for law enforcement during civil unrest.

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