News Release: Fire Experts, Colo. National Guard Prep For 2018 Wildfire Season



For immediate release:

Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control


Public Affairs Officer:

Caley Fisher | | 720-391-1565


UPDATE: Fire Experts, Colo. National Guard Prep For 2018 Wildfire Season


The Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control (DFPC) will conduct helicopter-based fire suppression training April 6-8 near Longmont with the Colorado Army National Guard, Boulder Fire-Rescue, the City of Longmont and U.S. Forest Service in an annual interagency wildland fire training exercise.

The training exercises, incorporating federal, state and local authorities, include practicing aerial water bucket drops at Denver-metro lakes and reservoirs to improve coordinated response for air- and ground-based response elements during large-scale emergencies.

"The coordination and relationship we are building with the military is a huge improvement in the overall scope of operations," said DFPC Director Morgan. "Collaborative efforts in planning and training to respond to wildfires is the foundation for effective firefighting."

In addition to aerial operations, the conference will include academic training at the CW5 David R. Carter Army Aviation Support Facility, Buckley Air Force Base, in Aurora.


“We've been doing this type of training every year for more than a decade, as we head into fire season here in Colorado, this 'dry run' will help us to provide better support to our community partners,"  said Lt. Col. Ken Walsh, acting State Aviation Officer, Colorado Army National Guard. “Together we are training to ensure that we have the interagency coordination necessary to respond safely and effectively to the upcoming wildfire season.”


The goal is to provide a safe and realistic training environment for comprehensive training, practice, and development of skills for all agencies involved. This training was put to use in 2016 when the Colorado National Guard responded to the Cold Springs and Junkins Fires in support of many of the agencies involved with this annual exercise.

Training will be conducted in a safe manner. Months of planning have included coordination with local authorities for site locations, movement of equipment, and environmental considerations.

Participating agencies include the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control, Colorado National Guard, Boulder Fire-Rescue, U.S. Forest Service, Denver Water, City of Longmont, Longmont Fire Department, and numerous other local departments.  


Local residents and park visitors will notice UH-60 Black Hawk, CH-47 Chinook and UH-72 Lakota helicopters near Button Rock Reservoir, Longmont; Gross Reservoir, Boulder; and Vance Brand Airport, Longmont. Aircraft may also be operating over Bear Creek Reservoir area. The majority of flights will occur April 6-8, weather permitting.


UPDATE: The event is open to media Friday, April 6 - Sunday, April 8, 2018



Field Tour Opportunities

  1. Tours: There will no longer be the opportunity to do a flight tour. Field tours are still available. You are still more than welcome to join the team at the helibase to take photos/video footage of the planes. We recommend arriving 10-15 minutes before 9am to catch the planes flying in/landing at the helibase. Directions are attached to this email, go to Vance Brand Airport and check in at Helibase T.
  2. Weather: With the weather predictions for Friday only, there is a possibility the training will be delayed until conditions clear up.  Please check our Facebook and Twitter pages for updates.

    Contact: Caley Fisher, 720-391-1565,