Jack Walker Published

W.Va. National Guard Deployed To Fight Wildfires In Hardy County

A uniformed National Guard personnel prepares equipment for a helicopter.
West Virginia National Guard personnel prepare a helicopter that will help fight wildfires in Hardy County.
West Virginia National Guard

The West Virginia National Guard has joined efforts to put out wildfires spreading across eastern West Virginia and neighboring states.

Two helicopters and several National Guard personnel were deployed to Hardy County on Friday.

They aim to assist the West Virginia Division of Forestry and other emergency response personnel in quenching the blazes.

The deployment of National Guard personnel follows Gov. Jim Justice’s state of emergency declaration Thursday afternoon.

The National Guard said more than 4,000 acres of land has burned as of Friday.

Helicopters in use by the National Guard can hold 630 gallons of water each, which personnel then disperse over wildfires from above. This helps target areas of the wildfires that are unsafe for emergency responders to approach on the ground.

“Our aircrews have extensive experience in helping to combat wildland fires,” said Bill Crane, adjutant general of the West Virginia National Guard in a press release Thursday.

“We will do all we can to help bring these fires under control to protect lives and property in the impacted communities,” he said.

From a helicopter, the National Guard drops water from the sky.
Dropping water onto wildfires from above allows firefighters to extinguish fires that are unsafe for ground personnel to approach.
Photo Credit: West Virginia National Guard