Hunter choppers bring help from above - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Hunter choppers bring help from above

April 19, 2007
by Brooke Kelley

Savannah --  Dozens of fire departments from all over the state are helping fight that fire in Ware County, but they aren't the only ones pitching in.  The Georgia National Guard is fighting the fire from above. 

Soldiers from Hunter Army Airfield are packed up and ready to go. "Once a forest fire gets large enough, they give us a call and we provide assistance,"  said Company Commander Edwin Laster.

For the forth day in a row, two Chinooks from Hunter Army Airfield will head down to Ware County to help fight a wildfire that has been burning since Monday. "It's pretty intense. wide scale, and it's all over the place, and difficult to contain with the winds shifting and it's so dry," said Laster.

Like the firefighters, the soldiers have been battling this blaze since Monday and so far have dropped over 400 buckets of water-- more than one million gallons.

"The firefighters trying to protect the houses and structures on the ground, but they have to stay on the road. We don't have to-- we can go to the middle where they can't go."

The pilots will pick up the water supply from a nearby lake or pond, each time, dropping up to 2,000 gallons of water, and like the firefighters, they will be working until the fire is out

"We are planning to fly and support through the weekend we have people lined up all the way through Saturday. and is it continues we will plan to fly,"  said Laster.