Kentucky National Guard Helicopters Dump Water On Wildfires

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – The Kentucky National Guard says its helicopters have dropped more than 120,000 gallons of water on wildfires burning thousands of acres of land in the state.

Maj. Mike Armstrong, commander of the guard’s 751st Aviation Troop Command, says in a news release that six UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters are helping battle the fires with 600-gallon buckets of water. Armstrong says two LUH-72 Lakota helicopters are supporting wildfire suppression efforts with command and control from the air.

As of noon Saturday, about 200 water drops have been made on fires burning in Harlan and Perry Counties.

Division of Forestry spokeswoman Jennifer Turner says about 11,000 acres are on fire and 40 counties have active burn bans. Gov. Matt Bevin has declared a state of emergency due to the fires.