CASPER, Wyo —  Governor Mark Gordon on Thursday activated Wyoming Army National Guard aviation resources to California to assist the nearly 15,000 firefighters battling 28 major wildfires in that state’s worst season on record for wildfires.

One UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter and four crew members from G Company, 2nd Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment left Friday and will operate from Mather Airport near Sacramento, according to a Wyoming Army National Guard release.

The helicopter and crew are expected to be in the area until September 25 unless extended by request.

“I know the people of Wyoming will join me in wishing them a safe journey and safe work,” Gov. Mark Gordon said in a press briefing on Wednesday.

The Black Hawk is equipped with a collapsible Bambi Bucket and will be used to drop up to 660 gallons of water at time on fire hot spots that are difficult for ground crews to access.

Wyoming Air National Guard’s 153rd Airlift Wing has also been in service in California, providing one of the four C-130s equipped to drop up to 3,000 gallons of water or retardant for fire suppression efforts.

The activation is in conjunction with National Guard Support to Civil Authorities (NGSCA) and the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), said the release.

EMAC is an all-hazards, all-disciplines mutual aid compact that allows states to send personnel, equipment, and commodities to assist with response and recovery efforts in other states during governor-declared states of emergency or disaster.

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