Wildland Fire Training from helicopters in Hot Springs

HOT SPRINGS, S.D. -On Thursday crews from the National Guard and South Dakota Wildland Fire trained in helicopters.

The exercise revolved around helicopter drop training. The firefighters were given a target on an incline of the canyon and the helicopter crew flew over the target and dropped chemicals on it. These chemicals are normally used to put out a wildfire.

 “Each one of the helicopter crews has to do multiple drops and we have two different locations and basically they’re practicing cross slope and downslope drops,” said Ray Bubb, the Fire Aviation Officer.

Wildfire slopes are dangerous because the flames travel uphill much faster than they go downhill. This is because wind tends to travel upward and the air flow fuels the flames.

Drop training is a group effort that all firefighters in the area must complete each year. 

“The pilot does all of the flying and lines it up and actually the crew chief in the back does the drop so it’s team coordination effort,” said Bubb.  

Working on these scenarios not only help to put firefighters at ease but also the people who live in highly prone areas.

 “Well I hope it makes them feel comfortable knowing that we’re constantly training, constantly progressing and growing and that so when something is in their back yard, we’re going to know how to handle it,” said the squad boss, Albert Taylor.  

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News