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Critical tool in wildfire response – exclusive aerial support standing by in Douglas County

Helicopter and emergency personnel readied for potential wildland fire.

Wildfire Aerial Support Helicopter

Despite recent rains, fire danger can increase rapidly, and it is imperative that everyone in Douglas County – emergency response agencies and residents – be prepared for the possibility of a wildland fire.

Aerial support is a critical component of Douglas County’s wildfire preparedness toolbox directed by the Douglas County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) in close partnership with local fire departments and other agencies. With a goal to save lives and protect property, Trans Aero Helicopter was recently contracted to provide two 45-day exclusive use periods as well as options for call-when-needed support and additional exclusive periods.

Having an exclusive use helicopter on contract ensures this tool is available to be deployed when Douglas County needs it the most. The helicopter arrived in Douglas County on Tuesday, June 1, and is now stationed in the Northwest part of the county and at the ready if a fire should break out.

Douglas County OEM staff received training in general helicopter safety and aircraft orientation, loading and unloading of passengers and gear, aviation communications, operational deployment of firefighters and even practiced water drops, to ensure they are also prepared.

The County also has contracts with four additional companies that will assist Douglas County on an as-needed basis in the event of a major wildland fire.

Redundancy in aerial support for wildfires allows the County to execute a ‘hard, heavy, fast’ response to wildfires and protect residents and their property.

We’re prepared for the possibility of a wildfire, are you? Wildfire mitigation and risk reduction require everyone in our community to participate. Learn more about what you can do to prepare for wildfire and reduce your risk.

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