MTNG Choppers Head to Washington - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

MTNG Choppers Head to Washington

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Early this morning two helicopters and 17 soldiers from the Montana Army National Guard headed to Washington to help battle massive wildfires.

Two CH-47 Chinook helicopters and soldiers from the 1-189th General Support Aviation Battalion took off from Helena Monday morning.

A state of emergency was declared Tuesday for 20 Washington counties due to the wildfires. Governor Steve Bullock said Friday the state of the disaster in Washington is severe enough to warrant support from Montana.

"Our Washington neighbors need our help gaining control over the devastating wildfires burning in their state," said Montana's Governor Steve Bullock, "Just like we helped Colorado last year during their floods, we will provide some much needed resources to Washington, because it's in Montanans nature to help neighbors when they need a hand."

Crews did training and certification flights over the weekend and departed at 8 a.m. Monday.

The CH-47 Chinook is a twin engine cargo helicopter capable of dropping more than 2,000 gallons of water at a time from an attached bucket. Two CH-47s represents half of the Montana National Guard's currently available inventory of that type of helicopter.


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