By Air Force Tech. Sgt. Leisa Grant
National Guard Bureau
ARLINGTON, Va. (9/7/11) – The Texas National Guard has taken to the skies to assist in fighting the wildfires engulfing thousands of acres in southeastern Texas this week.
About 90 Guard members helping local and regional agencies are fighting the blazes on the ground and from above as of today, according to National Guard Bureau reports.
With eight UH-60 Black Hawk and three Ch-47 Chinook helicopters deployed, about one and a half million gallons of water have been dropped on the fires in an attempt to contain them and prevent additional property loss and damage, according to a Texas National Guard report.
Each Black Hawk carries suspended Bambi Buckets, dropping close to 660 gallons of water or fire retardant per pass. The Chinooks are able to drop about 1,600 gallons of fire retardant or water during each bucket drop.
Additionally, the National Guard is providing twelve bulldozers and a few dozen other large support trucks in specific areas affected by the fires.
In one county alone, more than 1,000 homes have been reported destroyed or lost this week, according to a Texas Forest Service report.