ROUND LAKE, N.Y. - The State Police, along with the Army National Guard and the DEC, are training at Round Lake Airport in an effort to prepare for wildfires.
The Army National Guard pilots and aircrew are using a Blackhawk Helicopter, flying the aircraft with a bucket, also known as a Bambi Bucket, to scoop water from Round Lake.
The service members, with the help of the State Police helicopter crews and the DEC are training together.
“Typically as we move into the mid and later summer we have the potential for lightning strikes or camp fires in remote areas that become larger wild fires,” said John Solan, State Forest Ranger.
Those training are dropping water on the scene by air, because it can be difficult to do by ground firefighters. However, it is not an easy task as a larger area can impose a larger hazard to people on the ground.
“That is why synchronization is critical between us and the ground people,” said Chuck Rodda, Army National Guard.
The Army National Guard helicopter crew trains for this every spring so that they're prepared to be called out in an emergency. The last time they were called to a wildfire was back in 2008 at Minnewaska State Park in Ulster County.