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Critical tool in 2024 wildfire response, exclusive aerial support, now standing by in Douglas County

Helicopter and emergency personnel readied to respond to potential wildland fire

Posted on June 5, 2024 2024News and EventsPublic Safety


Wildfires are the No. 1 natural hazard in Douglas County and can happen in any season. Everyone in Douglas County – emergency response agencies and residents – must 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 in close partnership with local fire departments and other agencies. To save lives and protect property, the Trans Aero Helicopter is contracted with Douglas County for exclusive use June 1 until Oct. 31, 2024, with the opportunity to extend exclusive use this year as needed. Having an exclusive use helicopter on contract ensures this tool is ready to be deployed whenever Douglas County needs it.

Office of Emergency Management (OEM) staff routinely trains in general helicopter safety and aircraft orientation, loading and unloading of passengers and gear, aviation communications, and operational deployment of firefighters and water drops, to ensure they are also prepared.

The County also has contracts with three 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.

Please also sign up every phone line in your household for CodeRED notifications, ensuring you receive emergency notifications.

If you, or someone in your household, is an older adult or person with a disability and may need extra assistance in the event of an evacuation, please sign up for the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Access and Functional Needs Registry.

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