At the direction of Governor Bobby Jindal, the Louisiana National Guard will deploy two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters to Natchitoches Parish tomorrow morning where they will begin assisting the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry in fighting a wildfire. The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry is the lead agency for fighting this wildfire.
The LANG will provide two helicopters with helibuckets--large buckets suspended on a cable carried to deliver water for aerial firefighting. The two helicopters will deploy from Hammond at first light. The operations will occur in the vicinity of Highway 153, near Creston and Ashland where an approximately 400 acre fire is burning. The two helicopters were requested by local officials. The LANG has an additional helicopters on standby if needed.
Governor Jindal said, "The National Guard stands ready to assist the people of Natchitoches Parish fight this wildfire. We have also deployed personnel from the Office of the State Fire Marshall to assist local officials as they work to suppress the fire. We are going to provide the resources necessary to put this fire out as quickly as possible and help get our people and property out of harm's way."
"The Louisiana National Guard is ready to do whatever is necessary for our state and our nation," said Maj. Gen. Bennett C. Landreneau, Adjutant General of the LANG. "This evening the Governor directed us to assist local and state agencies with any assets needed to help combat this wildfire. And, just as we completed our successful mission to help combat the marsh fires in southeast Louisiana over the past three days our pilots are again ready to assist with putting out this new fire in North Louisiana."