(NEWS10) — If you saw a helicopter flying over the Mohawk River Friday morning, it was nothing to be concerned about, but it could help keep you safe in the future. It was wildfire bucket training for seven New York State Department of Environmental Conservation forest rangers.
The rangers are some of the most highly trained firefighters in the country. The training allows them to solidify their relationship with New York State Police and prevent wildfires from getting out of control. For Friday’s practice, they set up targets to dump the water. Each bucket carries 240 gallons of water.
“This is just practice for when we have to respond to a wildfire incident and we do need those aviation resources,” Lt Ian Kerr, DEC Forest Ranger, said.
Every year, rangers extinguish dozens of wildfires that consume hundreds of acres of land. Many of them travel to the western portion of the U.S. to help with wildfires there. They didn’t need the bucket last week, but over a two-day period, forest rangers put out six fires in five different counties across New York, scorching 81 acres of land.