washington wildfires
10:48 am
Fri September 14, 2012

National Guard deploys 2 helicopters to Wenatchee wildfire

WENATCHEE, Wash. — The Washington National Guard has deployed two helicopters equipped with water buckets to help crews battling a wildfire near Wenatchee.

The National Guard says the two helicopters are a CH-47 Chinook helicopter with a 2,000-gallon water bucket and five-person crew, and a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter with a 660-gallon water bucket and four crew members.

On Thursday, Gov. Chris Gregoire signed an emergency declaration for all the state's counties east of the Cascade Mountains. National Guard helicopters are among the resources authorized by that proclamation.

Seven large complexes of fires have burned across 229 square miles of parched land east of the Cascades. On Thursday, nearly 3,000 firefighters dug lines and burned dry grass and brush in the path of the fires.