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129th Rescue Wing Helping Rim Fire

Groveland, CA — The Air National Guard confirms that two HH-60G Pave Hawk Helicopters are on their way to the Rim Fire in the Stanislaus National Forest.

A spokesperson for the Air National Guard says they left Mather Air Force Base this morning and should arrive any moment. The helicopters are similar to a Blackhawk, and incorporate the US Air Force PAVE electronic systems program.

“Almost immediately after receiving orders to provide support for our wildfire operations from headquarters in Sacramento, our airmen gathered their gear and headed to Mather,” says Col. Steven J. Butow in a statement. “As rescue professionals, we have the ability to respond rapidly to any challenge we’re given, anytime and anywhere.”

Last year the 129th Rescue Wing dropped more than 250,000 gallons of water on wildfires across California.

The Air National Guard reports that the helicopters received their assignments at Mather Air Force Base and are equipped with buckets to make drops. Over 850 firefighters are on scene of the Rim Fire. The latest estimate is that it is around 16,200 acres and 5% contained.